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Integritas  morum  MORUM  commendat,  et  ardor 
Ingenii,  et  docto  dulcis  in  ore  decor. 

Audoeni  Epigr. 





TOWER    OF    LONDON,    A.D.    1534, 








Printed  by  J.  &  H.  COX,  BROTHERS  (LATE  COX  &  SONS), 
74  &  75,  Great  Queen-street,  Lincoln's-Inn  Fields. 


THE  present  volume  of  the  ENGLISH  CATHOLIC  LIBRARY 
introduces  to  modern  readers  a  treatise  by  Sir  Thomas 
More,  "  one  of  the  ornaments  of  the  English  nation,  one 
of  the  wisest,  best,  and  most  religious  of  mankind."1* 
We  say  introduce,  because,  with  the  exception  of  his 
most  notable  UTOPIA,  the  works  of  that  eminent  martyr 
are  known,  save  by  name,  to  very  few  of  his  countrymen. 
Whether  this  has  arisen  from  the  cold  and  depressing- 
influence  of  a  system  antagonistic  to  that  faith  of  which 
he  testified ;  or  whether,  from  his  name  being  so  tragi 
cally  incorporated  with  the  great  historical  events  of  the 
sixteenth  century,  all  attention  to  his  writings  has  been 
absorbed  in  the  contemplation  of  the  man  ;  is  a  question 
on  which  it  is  needless  to  speculate.  Let  us  hope 
that  the  improving  spirit  of  the  present  age  will  repair 
this  disgraceful  neglect ;  and  that  ere  long  a  complete 
and  satisfactory  edition  of  the  works  of  Sir  Thomas 
More  will  be  as  rife  and  familiar  on  our  shelves  as  those 
of  Shakspeare  and  Bacon. 

The  biography  of  the  virtuous  Chancellor  requires  not 
to  be  penned  by  us  anew.  The  Life  by  his  great-grand 
son  Cresacre,  so  ably  edited  by  the  learned  and  acute 
Mr.  Hunter,  is  one  of  the  most  charming  compositions  in 
that  department  of  literature ;  and  in  point  of  fidelity 
and  interest  is  only  equalled  by  that  of  Wolsey,  which 

*  Rev.  J.  Hunter,  South  Yorkshire,  i.  374. 



the  sagacity  of  the  same  editor  has  restored  to  the  real 
author,  George  Cavendish.  Those  by  Roper,*  Cayley, 
and,  more  recently,  by  Mr.  Walter, — apart  from  scarcer 
tractates  within  the  cognizance  of  the  erudite — comprise 
every  particular  of  importance  to  their  subject. 

As  the  title-page  bears,  and  as  Cresacre  More  narrates, 
the  Dialogue  of  Comfort  against  Tribulation  was  com 
posed  during  its  author's  imprisonment  in  the  Tower  of 
London  in  1534.  "  Which  subject,"  this  his  descendant 
well  observes,  "  he  handleth  so  wittily  as  none  hath  come 
near  him  either  in  weight  of  grave  sentences,  devout 
considerations,  or  fit  similitudes;  seasoning  always  the 
troublesomeness  of  the  matter  with  some  merry  jests  or 
pleasant  tales,  as  it  were  sugar,  whereby  we  drink  up 
the  more  willingly  these  wholesome  drugs,  of  themselves 
unsavory  to  flesh  and  blood ;  which  kind  of  writing  he 
hath  used  in  all  his  works,  so  that  none  can  ever  be 
weary  to  read  them,  though  they  be  never  so  long."-f- 
And  again,  when  speaking  of  his  various  works, — 
Surely  of  all  the  books  that  ever  he  made,  I  doubt 
whether  I  may  prefer  any  of  them  before  the  said  three 
Books  of  Comfort,  yea  or  any  other  man's,  either  heathen 
or  Christian,  that  have  written  (as  many  have),  either  in 
Greek  or  Latin  of  the  said  matter.  And  as  for  heathen, 
I  do  this  worthy  man  plain  injury,  and  do  much  abase 
him,  in  matching  and  comparing  him  with  them,  espe 
cially  in  this  point:  seeing  that,  were  they  otherwise 
never  so  incomparable,  they  lacked  yet,  and  knew  not 
the  very  especial  and  principal  ground  of  comfort  and 
consolation,  that  is,  the  true  faith  of  Christ,  in  whom  and 
for  whom,  and  whose  glory  we  must  seek  and  fetch  all 
our  true  comfort  and  consolation:  well,  let  that  pass; 
and  let  us  further  say,  that  as  the  said  Sir  Thomas  More 
notably  passeth  many  learned  Christians,  that  have  of 
the  same  matter  written  before,  so  let  us  add,  that  it  may 
well  be  doubted,  all  matters  considered  and  weighed,  if 
any  of  the  rest  may  seem  much  to  pass  him.  There  is 

*  The  edition  by  Mr.  Singer  is  a  worthy  companion  to  the  labour  of  his 
friend,  Mr.  Hunter, 
t  P.  110. 


in  these  books  so  witty,  pithy,  and  substantial  matter,  for 
the  easing,  remedying,  and  patiently  suffering  of  all  man 
ner  of  griefs  and  sorrows  that  may  possibly  encumber  any 
man,  by  any  manner  or  kind  of  tribulation,  whether  their 
tribulation  proceed  from  any  inward  temptation  or  ghostly 
enemy,  the  devil,  or  any  outward  temptation  of  the  world, 
threatening  to  bereave  or  spoil  us  of  our  goods,  lands, 
honour,  liberty,  and  freedom,  by  grievous  and  sharp 
punishment,  and  finally  of  our  life  withal,  by  any  painful, 
exquisite,  and  cruel  death ;  against  all  which  he  doth  so 
wonderfully  and  effectually  prepare,  defend,  and  arm 
the  reader,  that  a  man  cannot  desire  or  wish  any  thing  of 
any  more  efficacy  or  importance  thereunto  to  be  added. 
In  the  which  book  his  principal  drift  and  scope  was  to 
stir  and  prepare  the  minds  of  Englishmen  manfully  and 
courageously  to  withstand,  and  not  to  shrink  at  the  immi 
nent  and  open  persecution  which  he  foresaw,  and  imme 
diately  followed  against  the  unity  of  the  Church,  and  the 
Catholic  faith  of  the  same  ;  albeit  full  wittily  and  warily, 
that  the  books  might  safer  go  abroad,  he  doth  not  expressly 
meddle  with  these  matters,  but  covereth  the  matter  under 
a  name  of  an  Hungarian,  and  of  the  persecution  of  the 
Turks  in  Hungary,  and  of  the  book  translated  out  of  the 
Hungarian  tongue  into  Latin,  and  then  into  the  English 
tongue."*  And  such  golden  consolations  and  encourage 
ments,  and  genuine  philosophy,  were  inscribed  "  with  a 
coal;"  his  enemies  having  enhanced  the  pains  of  incar 
ceration  by  depriving  him  of  all  ordinary  writing  mate 
rials  ! 

The  first  edition  of  the  Dialogue  of  Comfort  was  printed 
at  London  by  Richard  Tottei,  1553,  in  quarto.  The 
next,  from  which  our  present  reprint  is  obtained,  at  Ant 
werp,  in  1573,  in  16mo. :  and  again,  at  the  same  city,  in 
1574  and  1578.  The  portrait  in  this  first  Antwerp  edition 
was  unknown  to  Granger  and  Bromley. 

The  "  Right   Honourable   and   Excellent   Ladie,"    to 

whom   Fowler   dedicated    the   work,    was   Jane,    second 

daughter  of  Sir  William  Dormer  (father  of  the  first  Lord 

Dormer  of  Wenge),  by  his  first  wife  Mary,  daughter  to 

*  P.  340. 

a  -2 


Sir  William  Sidney,  ancestor  to  the  Earls  of  Leicester. 
She  was  maid  of  honour  to  Queen  Mary,  and  married 
Don  Gomez  Suarez  de  Figueroa  y  Cordova,  Count  of  Feria, 
who  came  to  England  with  King  Philip,  and  was  after 
wards  the  first  duke  of  Feria  in  Spain. *  According  to 
Haro,  his  love  for  her  cost  the  duke  somewhat  of  rank  and 
fortune.  His  words  are  :  ((  De  quien  se  avia  enamorado  y 
aficionado  de  tal  manera,  que  escrive,  que  por  esta  causa 
no  sucedio  en  el  estado  y  Marquesad  de  Priego,  por  no 
aver  contrahido  matrimonio  con  la  Marquesa  dona  Cata- 
lina  su  sobrina,  hija  del  sobredicho  Conde  don  Pedro  su 
Jiermano."  *f* 

With  the  exception  of  adapting  the  orthography  to  that 
of  our  own  day,  and  amending  the  punctuation,  the  pre 
sent  reprint  is  a  faithful  copy  of  its  original,  carefully 
collated  with  the  text  in  the  collected  works  of  1557. 

Mr.  Mitford  has  recently  J  rescued  from  oblivion  the 
following  epitaph  on  More  by  Henry  Harder,  from  the 
Uelicice  Poetarum  Danorum.  This  we  here  preserve; 
and  conclude  with  the  much  more  elegant  tribute  of  the 
Jesuit  Balde,  the  most  estimable  poet  of  his  illustrious 

Thoma  Mori  Epitaphium. 

Mori  memento,  quisquis  hunc  tumulum  vides ; 
Ille  ille  gentis  tanta  lux  Britannicae, 
Columenque  voxque  civium,  Regis  maims, 
Et  purpuratorum  alpha  Morus  presidium, 
Charitum  voluptas,  dulce  Musarum  decus, 
Virtutis  ara,  terminus  Constantise, 
Virque  omnium,  dum  vixit,  integerrimus. 
Hie  ille  Morus  ille  divisus  jacet 
Irse  furentis  immolatus  principis. 
Poena  quid  ista  fecerit  dignum  rogas  ? 
Age,  arrige  aures  :  ipse  quamvis  mortuus 
Tibi  dicet  ipse— nempe  quid  dicit  ?     Nihil. 

*  Collins'  Peerage,  by  Brydges,  vii.  69. 

f  Nobiliario  de  Espafia,  i.  433. 

J  Gentleman's  Mag.  for  April,  1846,  p.  384. 



Hie  ille  Morus  quo  melius  nihil 

Titan  Britanno  vidit  ab  sethere, 

Funesta  cum  Regem  Bolena 

Illicito  furiasset  sestu : 

Audax  iniquas  spernere  nuptias 
Amore  veri,  propositum  minis 
Obvertit  Henrici,  tyranno 
Fortior,  indocilisque  flecti. 

Non  career  ilium,  non  Aloysia 
Dimovit  uxor ;  nee  trepidus  gener 
Nee  ante  Patrem  Margarita 
Foemineo  lacrymosa  questu. 

Fertur  monentem  mitia  conjugem, 
Sed  non  et  isto  digna  viro,  procul 
Abs  se  remotam,  cum  feroci, 
Ut  fatuam,  pepulisse  risu. 

Mox,  qua  fluentem  seThamesis  rotat 
Addestinatum  funeribus  locum, 
Casto  coronandus  triumpho, 
Per  medios  properavit  Anglos. 

Ductum  secuta  flente  Britannia, 
Non  flevit  unus  ;  marmore  durior, 
Et  certa  despectante  vultu 

Fata  tuens,  hilarisque  torvum. 

Atqui  sciebat,  quid  sibi  regius 
Tortor  parasset,  nonaliter  tamen, 
Quam  laureates  Sulla  fasceis, 
Ipsesuam  petiit  securim. 

Plenus  futuri  quo  tumulo  stetit, 
Postquam  paventem  carnificis  manum, 
Mercede  firmasset,  cruento 
Colla  dedit  ferienda  ferro. 

Easter  Monday,  1847. 



against  Tribulation,  made  by 

the  right  Vertuous,  Wise  and  Learned 

man,  Sir  Thomas  More,  sometime 

L.  Chancellor  of  England,  which 

he  wrote  in  the  Tower  of 

London,  An.  1534, 

and  entituled 

thus  : 

dialogue  of  OTumfort  against 

latton,  matte  b»  an  Hungarian  in  Hatin,  anfc 
translate*  out  of  Eatin  into  dFrmd),  b 
out  of  dTrenrf)  into 

nctob  f(tt  foortf),  tott!)  mang  placed 
antt  (orrtctett  bo  confetence  of  Sunotie  Copied. 

Non  desis  plorantibus  in  consolatione.     Eccli.  7. 


Apud  lohannem  Foulerum,  Anglum, 

To  the  Right  Honourable  and  Excellent  Lady,   the 
Lady  Jane,  Duchess  of  Feria. 

;HEREAS  I  was  so  bold  the  last  year,  to 
dedicate  to  your  Honour  a  little  Treatise  of 
mine  own  translating,  not  worthy  indeed  to 
come  forth  under  the  name  of  so  noble  a 
patroness,  whereby  I  might  seem,  not  to 
apply  any  deed  or  gift  of  mine  toward  the 
honour  or  service  of  your  Grace,  but  rather  to  use  the  name 
of  your  honourable  personage  for  the  better  commendation 
and  setting  forth  of  that  small  labour  of  mine :  to  amend 
that  fault  and  boldness  committed  then,  I  thought  good 
now  to  present  unto  your  Grace,  not  any  better  gift  of  mine 
own  (as  being  yet  not  able  to  give  any  that  is  ought  worth), 
but  surely  an  excellent  gift  of  another  man's  device  and 
making,  which  both  hath  done,  doth,  and  shall  do  much 
good  to  many  other  good  folk,  and  to  your  noble  Grace 
also.  For  though  I  know  right  well,  that  the  same  hath 
been  seen  and  perused  of  your  Honour  many  times  before 
now,  and  that  you  have  yet,  and  many  years  have  had  the 
same  lying  by  you :  yet  both  by  myself,  and  by  other 
also,  I  know,  that  how  oft  soever  a  man  have  read  the 
same,  yet  as  oft  shall  he  need  to  read  it  again.  And 
though  he  both  have  and  do  still  read  it  again  and  again, 
he  shall  yet  take  profit  more  and  more  by  it,  and  always 
shall  have  need,  while  he  liveth  here,  to  have  oft  recourse 
thereunto.  And  that  may  well  appear  in  this  present  case 
of  your  Honour,  who  in  this  long  mourning  for  the  lack 
and  loss  of  your  right  worthy  and  most  noble  husband,  my 


good  Lord  the  Duke's  Grace,  cannot,  I  suppose,  anywhere 
find  the  like  ease  of  your  heaviness  and  comfort  for  the 
sole  and  sad  estate  of  your  virtuous  widowhood,  as  here 
out  of  this  book  may  be  taken,  both  for  that,  and  for  any 
other  worldly  woes  and  afflictions. 

These  six  or  seven  years  have  I  been  desirous  to  have 
so  good  a  book  come  forth  again  in  some  smaller  volume 
than  it  was  in  before,  being  indeed  not  so  handsome  for 
the  private  use  and  commodity  of  the  reader,  as  I  trust  it 
shall  be  now.  But  it  hath  not  been  my  chance,  through 
one  let  or  other,  to  accomplish  that  desire  of  mine  till 
now.  And  that  is  indeed  the  chief  thing  that  I  have 
done  therein,  which  I  may  account  as  mine :  I  mean,  in 
that  I  have  brought  it  into  this  small  volume,  and  withal, 
by  conferring  of  sundry  copies  together,  have  restored  and 
corrected  many  places,  and  thereby  made  it  much  more 
plain  and  easy  to  be  understood  of  the  reader.  All 
which  small  labour  of  mine  I  beseech  your  Honour  to 
accept  in  good  part,  as  of  him  that  would  be  right  glad, 
not  only  by  this  or  any  mean  to  testify  alway  my  good 
heart  and  affection  toward  the  noble  Duke,  both  while  he 
lived  and  still  after  his  decease,  but  also  to  do  likewise  to 
your  Grace,  and  to  your  Noble  Son  (being  his  father's 
own  heir  both  of  estate  and  worthy  qualities)  any  such 
service,  as  my  poor  ability  can  anywise  achieve.  And 
thus  commending  myself  in  all  humble  manner  unto  your 
Grace,  I  shall  remain,  as  before,  bound  alway  to  pray  for 
the  good  health  and  long  life  of  your  Honour,  and  of  your 
no  less  dear  than  noble  son,  whom  in  his  father's  place  I 
take  still  for  my  good  Lord  also.  From  Antwerp,  the 
last  of  September.  An.  1573. 

Your  Grace's  most  humble  servitor, 



F  the  whole  life  of  man  be  a  continual  war 
fare  upon  earth,  as  God's  own  word  doth 
witness,*  and  as  our  own  experience  doth 
daily  prove  the  same,  and  that  man  himself 
horn  of  a  woman,  is  indeed  a  wo  man, 
that  is,  full  of  wo  and  misery,  even  from 
the  first  hour  of  his  birth,  to  the  very  last  moments  of  his 
life,t  at  which  time  he  suffereth  the  extremest  wo  and  most 
pinching  pain  of  all,  in  parting  from  his  own  natural 
body,  that  he  naturally  loveth  so  well:  how  great  need 
have  we  to  provide  and  have  ready  alway  some  good 
armour  and  weapon  in  this  our  long  warfare,  and  not  to 
be  without  some  relief  and  succour  against  so  many 
miseries  as  we  be  subject  unto. 

To  make  any  particular  discourse  of  all  the  sundry 
sorrows  and  woes  that  appertain  to  each  state,  both  of 
men  and  women,  of  young  and  old,  sick  and  whole,  rich 
and  poor,  high  and  low,  subject  and  prince,  and  king  and 
queen  and  all ;  it  would  be  too  long  a  business,  and  shall 
not  need  at  this  present,  referring  the  knowledge  and 
remembrance  thereof  to  each  person  in  his  degree,  as  he 
daily  and  hourly  feeleth  the  same. 

For  though  that  some  there  be,  that  neither  feel  nor 

know  their  own  miseries,  and  yet  live  in  most  misery  of  all, 

whereof  the  common  proverb  saith,  that  such  as  are  in 

hell  think  there  is    none  other  heaven ;  and  as  in  very 

*  Job  vii.  f  Idem  xiv. 


deed  many  folk  of  this  world  take  and  ween  this  to  be 
their  heaven,  because  they  know  none  other  yet  (and  other 
shall  they  never  know  here,  but  by  faith*)  yet,  be  we  never 
so  blind  in  seeing  and  knowing  our  own  most  miseries, 
we  have  for  all  that  other  miseries  besides  so  many  and 
so  great,  that  there  is  no  creature  so  happy  here  on 
earth,  but  that  one  way  or  other,  at  some  time  or  other,  he 
seeth  and  feeleth  sorrow  and  wo  enough.  And  though 
that  perhaps  to  other  folk  he  seem  to  live  in  all  worldly 
wealth  and  bliss,  yet  himself  knoweth  best  what  him 
aileth  most,  and  as  another  proverb  also  saith,  Each  man 
knoweth  well  where  his  own  shoe  wringeth  him. 

And  albeit  that  commonly  the  best  folk  suffer  most 
afflictions  in  this  world,  as  being  most  hated  of  the  world, 
and  best  beloved  of  God,  who  reserveth  for  them  in 
another  world  the  crown  of  eternal  bliss,-f  and  for  the  evils 
that  they  endure  here,  doth  rewrard  them  with  good 
things  there :  yet  the  common  sort  of  folk,  yea  and  the 
very  worst  and  most  wicked  too,  have  likewise  their  kinds 
of  afflictions  and  miseries,  and  do  not  lack  their  worldly 
woes,  which  vex  them  otherwhiles  even  at  the  very  hearts 
as  much,  and  more,  than  any  other  tribulations,  either 
inward  or  outward,  do  molest  the  minds  of  the  virtuous 
and  good. 

If  these  miseries  be  so  common  and  so  general  unto  all, 
what  ought  all  folk  generally  to  provide  for,  but  remedy 
and  comfort  against  the  same?  And  if  the  infection  of 
this  pestilent  malady  of  man  be  such  and  so  sore,  that  it 
letteth  none  scape  long  without  it,  but  visiteth  each  body 
by  some  mean  or  other,  wherever  they  dwell,  and  what 
air  soever  they  live  and  rest  in,  what  great  cause  have  we, 
that  cannot  avoid  this  contagious  air,  but  must  needs 
lead  our  lives  in  it,  and  thereby  fall  sick  now  and  then, 
to  seek  some  good  preservatives  against  such  an  universal 
plague,  or  at  least  some  good  comfortatives  for  the  heart 
and  brains  and  principal  parts  of  us,  that  we  be  not  so 
stricken  upon  the  sudden,  but  that  we  may  temper  the 
rage  of  this  disease,  arid  overcome  the  danger  of  it,  to  the 
recovery  of  our  health  and  final  salvation  ! 

*  Hebr.  xi.  t  Esai.  vi. ;  1  Cor.  ii. 

TO    THE    READER.  XV11 

I  would  verily  believe,  these  things  well  pondered,  that 
is,  both  the  general  estate  of  man's  misery  and  pain,  and 
the  great  necessity  of  comfort  which  as  generally  folio  weth 
therewithal,  that,  whereas  many  books  have  and  do 
come  forth  daily,  that  tend  toward  some  benefit  or  other 
unto  man,  yet  scant  any  can  appear,  the  profit  whereof  is 
so  great  and  extendeth  so  far,  as  of  this. 

The  invention  indeed  of  the  author  seemeth  to  respect 
some  particular  cases,  which  was  of  him  wonderful  wittily 
devised,  applying  his  whole  discourse  to  the  peace  of 
Christendom,  to  wit,  the  land  of  Hungary,  which  hath 
been  there  many  years  (and  yet  is)  sore  persecuted  and 
oppressed  by  Turks.  But  under  this  particular  case  of 
Turks'  persecutions  he  generally  comprehendeth  all  kinds 
of  afflictions  and  persecutions  both  of  body  and  mind, 
that  may  any  way  be  suffered,  either  by  sickness  or 
health,  by  friend  or  foe,  by  wicked  and  wrongful  oppressors, 
by  miscreants  and  Turks,  and  the  very  fiends  and  devils  of 
hell  also.  And  that  was  done  for  this  intent  (as  it  may 
seem)  that  under  this  one  kind  of  Turkish  persecution, 
the  benefit  of  the  book  might  be  the  more  common  to  all 
Christian  folk,  as  the  which  could  justly  of  none  be 
rejected  nor  reproved,  but  if  themselves  were  very  Turks 
too,  or  worse.  And  yet  I  trow,  no  Turk  is  so  cruel  and 
fell,  that  will  or  can  let  a  poor  Christian  man  in  the 
midst  of  all  his  afflictions  put  upon  him  by  the  same 
Turk,  to  seek  and  use  some  comfort,  in  his  case,  such  as 
he  may. 

Howbeit  this  book  is  also  such,  and  so  generally  profit 
able,  and  so  charitably  written  and  devised  to  the  behoof 
of  all,  that  both  good  and  bad,  Christian  and  heathen, 
Jew  and  gentile,  and  the  very  Turks  too,  in  that  they 
be  mortal  men  and  subject  to  worldly  miseries,  may  if 
they  would  read  and  use  it,  pick  out  many  good  counsels 
and  comforts,  whereby  to  ease  themselves  also  in  their  most 
adversities.  For  sometime  the  chance  is  turned,  and  it 
fortunes  as  well  the  Turks  to  be  taken  prisoners  by  the 
Christians,  as  the  Christians  are  taken  and  persecuted  by 

And  surely  if  Turks  understood  the  language,  and  per- 

XV111  TO    THE    READER. 

ceived  well  the  general  commodity  of  the  book,  whatso 
ever  the  common  sort  and  furious  multitude  of  them 
would  do  for  their  accustomed  malice  and  envy  against 
all  benefit  of  the  Christian,  yet  (no  doubt)  a  man  should 
find  some  good  member  of  them  so  tractable  and  indif 
ferent,  that  would  for  their  own  sakes  in  considering  of 
their  own  need,  and  the  general  condition  of  all  men, 
neither  gainsay  their  Christian  captives  to  seek  them  some 
ease  in  their  misery,  nor  yet  refuse  themselves,  to  use  (from 
among  the  rest)  such  comforts  here  and  there  as  may  serve 
their  own  turns.  For  we  see  that  even  in  the  midst  of 
their  own  countries  they  suffer  many  Christian  folk  to 
dwell,  paying  certain  tributes  and  taxes  for  their  safe 
guard  and  sufferance  to  live  there.  And  in  other  coun 
tries  also  which  they  newly  subdue  and  win  from  the  Chris 
tians,  they  do  not  so  dispeople  the  whole  lands  and  main 
countries,  but  that  they  let  'many  thousands  dwell  there 
still,  professing  openly  and  freely  their  faith,  with  churches 
and  chapels  allowed  for  them:  this  only  provided,  that 
they  agnize  the  Turk  to  be  lord  of  the  land,  and  them 
selves  to  live  in  quiet  and  civil  subjection  under  him. 

But  blessed  be  God,  that  the  Turks  themselves,  though 
they  have  overrun  almost  all  Hungary,  and  thereto  won 
Cyprus  of  late,  are  far  enough  off  from  us  yet :  and  would 
God  all  their  Turkish  fashions  and  persecutions  were  as  far 
off  from  us  too,  and  that  Christian  charity  did  reign  more 
truly  and  plentifully  in  the  hearts  of  all  that  bear  the  name 
of  Christians  in  Christendom.  For  then  a  great  part  of 
the  comforts  that  are  in  this  book,  should  not  greatly  need, 
nor  we  should  not  greatly  need  neither  to  fear  lest  any 
Christian  folk  would  shew  themselves  so  unchristian,  as 
to  find  fault  or  mislike  with  the  use  and  free  having  of 
the  same  among  all  men,  whereas  the  matter  and  argu 
ment  thereof  toucheth  men  all  so  near. 

Howbeit  very  few  shall  be  found  here  in  our  quarters 
(by  all  likelihood)  that  have  so  much  degenerated  from 
the  nature  of  true  Christianity,  as  expressly  to  disannul  or 
disallow  the  same,  lest  they  might  thereby  seem,  not  only 
to  be  no  Christians  at  all,  but  rather  right  renegades, 
which  are  indeed  much  worse  than  any  natural  Turks. 


For  as  for  all  such  as  profess  the  Gospel  and  favour  the 
truth  of  God's  word,  they  must  needs  of  fine  force  both 
think  well  hereof,  and  also  allow  and  command  the  read 
ing  and  perusing  of  the  same  among  all  good  Christian 
people,  whereas  there  is  in  manner  nothing  therein,  but 
that  is  taken  out  of  the  very  Scripture,  out  of  God's  own 
written  word,  and  altogether  treateth  of  faith,  and  of  the 
principal  points  thereof.  Wherefore  (to  conclude)  there 
is  no  more  to  say,  but  only  to  wish  unto  all  men  generally, 
that  as  their  own  need  and  adversity  shall  move  them  to 
seek  for  some  ease  and  comfort  in  their  case,  if  it  be 
their  chance  to  light  upon  this  book,  they  may  so  look 
thereon,  and  find  such  benefit  and  relief  thereby,  as  may 
be  most  God's  pleasure  and  quiet  of  their  minds. 



A  Dialogue  of  Comfort  against  Tribulation,  made  by  the 
right  virtuous,  wise,  and  learned  man,  Sir  Thomas  More, 
sometime  Lord  Chancellor  of  England. 


.—  WHO  would  have  weened,  oh! 
my  good  uncle,  afore  a  few  years  passed, 
that  such  as  in  this  country  would  visit 
their  friends  lying  in  disease  and  sick 
ness,  should  come,  as  I  do  now,  to  seek 
and  fetch  comfort  of  them  ;  or,  in  giving, 
comfort  to  them,  use  the  way  that  1  may  well  use  to 
you  ?  For  albeit  that  the  priests  and  friars  be  wont  to 
call  upon  sick  men  to  remember  death  ;  yet  we  worldly 
friends,  for  fear  of  discomforting  them,  have  ever  had  a 
guise  in  Hungary,  to  lift  up  their  hearts  and  put  them 
in  good  hope  of  life.  But  now,  my  good  uncle,  the  world 


2  .       A    DIALOGUE   OF    COMFORT 

a  notable  sag*  is  here  waxen  such,  and  so  great  perils  appear 
Sue  S  aas  here  to  fal1  at  hand  ;  that  methinketh  the 
eaer.  greatest  comfort  that  a  man  can  have  is,  when 

he  may  see  that  he  shall  soon  be  gone.  And  we  that  are 
likely  long  to  live  here  in  wretchedness,  have  need  of 
some  comfortable  counsel  against  tribulation,  to  be  given 
us  by  such  as  you  be,  good  uncle,  that  have  so  long  lived 
virtuously,  and  are  so  learned  in  the  law  of  God,  as  very 
few  be  better  in  this  country  here,  and  have  had  of  such 
things  as  we  do  now  fear,  good  experience  and  assay  in 
yourself;  as  he  that  hath  been  taken  prisoner  in  Turkey 
two  times  in  your  days,  and  now  likely  to  depart  hence 
ere  long.  But  that  may  be  your  great  comfort,  good  uncle, 
sith  you  depart  to  God ;  but  us  here  shall  you  leave  of  your 
kindred,  a  sort  of  sorry,  comfortless  orphans,  to  all  whom 
your  good  help,  comfort  and  counsel  hath  long  been  a 
great  stay;  not  as  an  uncle  unto  some,  and  to  some 
farther  of  kin,  but  as  though  that  unto  us  all  you  had 
been  a  natural  father. 

ANTONY. — Mine  own  good  cousin,*  I  cannot  much  say 
nay,  but  that  there  is  indeed,  not  here  in  Hungary  only,  but 
almost  also  in  all  places  of  Christendom,  a  customable 
manner  of  unchristian  comforting,  which  albeit  that  in 
any  sick  man  it  doth  more  harm  than  good,  withdrawing 
him  in  time  of  sickness,  with  looking  and  longing  for  life, 
from  the  meditation  of  death,  judgment,  heaven  and  hell, 
whereof  he  should  beset  much  part  of  his  time,  even  all 
his  whole  life  in  his  best  health ;  yet  is  that  manner  in  my 
mind  more  than  mad,  where  such  kind  of  comfort  is  used 
to  a  man  of  mine  age.  For,  as  we  well  wot,  that  a  young 
man  may  die  soon ;  so  we  be  very  sure  that  an  old  man  can 
not  live  long.  And  yet  sith  there  is,  as  Tully  t  saith,  no 
man  for  all  that  so  old,  but  that  he  hopeth  yet  that  he  may 
live  one  year  more,  and  of  a  frail  folly  delighteth  thereon 
to  think,  and  comforteth  himself  therewith;  other  men's 
words  of  like  manner  comfort,  adding  more  sticks  to  that 
fire,  shall  in  a  manner  burn  up  quite  the  pleasant  mois 
ture  that  most  should  refresh  him ;  the  wholesome  dew 

*  This  word  was  anciently  applied  to  a  kinsman  generally, 
•f  Cicero  de  Senectute. 


(I  mean)  of  God's  grace,  by  which  he  should  wish  with 
God's  will  to  be  hence,  and  long  to  be  with  him  in 

Now  where  you  take  my  departing  from  you  so 
heavily,  as  of  him  of  whom  you  recognize  of  youi1  good 
ness  to  have  had  herebefore  help  and  comfort;  would 
God  I  had  to  you  and  other  more  half  so  much  done,  as 
myself  reckoneth  had  been  my  duty  to  do.  But  whenso 
ever  God  take  me  hence,  to  reckon  yourselves  then  com 
fortless,  as  though  your  chief  comfort  stood  in  me,  therein 
make  you  (methinketh)  a  reckoning  very  much  like  as 
though  you  would  cast  away  a  strong  staff  and  lean  upon 
a  rotten  reed.  For  God  is,  and  must  be  your  comfort, 
and  not  I.  And  he  is  a  sure  comforter,  that  (as  he  saicl 
unto  his  disciples)  *  never  leaveth  his  servants  in  case  of 
comfortless  orphans,  not  even  when  he  departeth  from  his 
disciples  by  death  ;  but  both,  as  he  promised,f  sent  them 
a  comforter,  the  Holy  Spirit  of  his  Father  and  himself, 
and  them  also  made  sure,  that  to  the  world's  end,  he 
would  ever  dwell  with  them  himself.  And,  therefore,  if 
you  be  part  of  his  flock,  and  believe  his  promise,  how  can 
you  be  comfortless  in  any  tribulation,  when  Christ  and 
his  Holy  Spirit,  and  with  them  their  inseparable  Father 
(if  you  put  full  trust  and  confidence  in  them)  be  never 
neither  one  finger  breadth  of  space,  nor  one  minute  of 
time  from  you  ? 

VINCENT. — Oh  !  my  good  uncle,  even  these  same  self 
words,  wherewith  you  well  prove  that  because  of  God's 
own  gracious  presence  we  cannot  be  left  comfortless, 
make  me  now  feel  and  perceive  what  a  miss  of  much 
comfort  we  shall  have  when  you  be  gone.  For  albeit, 
good  uncle,  that  while  you  do  tell  me  this,  I  cannot  but 
grant  it  for  true;  yet  if  I  now  had  not  heard  it  of  you,  1 
had  not  remembered  it,  nor  it  had  not  fallen  in  my  mind. 
And  over  that,  like  as  our  tribulations  shall  in  weight  and 
number  increase,  so  shall  we  need,  not  only  such  a  good 
word  or  twain,  but  a  great  heap  thereof,  to  stable  and 
strength  the  walls  of  our  hearts  against  the  great  scourges 
of  this  tempestuous  sea. 

*  John  xiv.  f  Matth.  ult. 

B    2 


ANTONY. — Good  cousin,  trust  well  in  God,  and  he  shall 
provide  you  teachers  abroad  convenient  in  every  time,  or 
else  shall  himself  sufficiently  teach  you  within. 

VINCENT. — Very  well,  good  uncle;  but  yet  if  we  would 
leave  the  seeking  of  outward  learning,  where  we  may  have 
it,  and  look  to  be  inwardly  taught  only  by  God,  then 
should  we  thereby  tempt  God,  and  displease  him.  And 
sith  that  I  now  see  likelihood,  that  when  you  be  gone,  we 
shall  be  sore  destitute  of  any  such  other  like ;  therefore 
thinketh  me  that  God  of  duty  bindeth  me  to  sue  to 
you  now,  good  uncle,  in  this  short  time  that  we  have  you, 
that  it  may  like  you,  against  these  great  storms  of  tribu 
lation,  with  which  both  I  and  all  mine  are  sore  beaten 
already,  and  now,  upon  the  coming  of  this  cruel  Turk, 
fear  to  fall  in  far  more ;  I  may  learn  of  you  such  plenty 
of  good  counsel  and  comfort,  that  I  may  with  the  same 
laid  up  in  remembrance,  govern  and  stay  the  ship  of  our 
kindred,  and  keep  it  afloat  from  peril  of  spiritual  drown 
ing.  You  be  not  ignorant,  good  uncle,  what  heaps  of 
heaviness  hath  of  late  fallen  among  us  already,  with 
which  some  of  our  poor  family  be  fallen  into  such  dumps, 
that  scantily  can  any  such  comfort,  as  rny  poor  wit  can 
give  them,  any  thing  assuage  their  sorrow.  And  now  sith 
these  tidings  have  come  hither  so  brim  of  the  great  Turk's 
enterprise  into  these  parts  here,  we  can  almost  neither 
talk,  nor  think  of  any  other  thing  else,  than  of  his  might 
and  our  mischief;  there  falleth  so  continually  before  the 
Co  tats  perse-  eyen  of  our  heart  a  fearful  imagination  of  this 
S£  ml  tow  terrible  thing,  his  mighty  strength  and  power, 
te  resein&ie&  his  high  malice  and  hatred,  and  his  incompara- 
tfeetllf0lfe«t?S  °le  cruelty,  with  robbing,  spoiling,  burning,  and 
fee!? tffcan  ^aYmo  waste  all  the  way  that  his  army  cometh. 
preoati.  Then  killing  or  carrying  away  the  people  far 

thence,  far  from  home,  and  there  sever  the  couples  and 
the  kindred  asunder,  every  one  far  from  other;  some 
kept  in  thraldom,  and  some  kept  in  prison,  and  some  for 
a  triumph  tormented  and  killed  in  his  presence.  Then 
send  his  people  hither  and  his  false  faith  therewith,  so 
that  such  as  here  are  and  remain  still  shall  either  both 
lose  all  and  be  lost  too,  or  forced  to  forsake  the  faith  of 


our  Saviour  Christ,  and  fall  to  the  sect  of  Mahomet. 
And  yet  (which  we  more  fear  than  all  the  remanent)  no 
small  part  of  our  folk  that  dwell  even  here  about  us  are 
(as  we  fear)  falling;  to  him,  or  already  confedered  with 
him ;  which,  if  it  so  be,  shall  haply  keep  this  quarter 
from  the  Turk's  incursion.  But  then  shall  they  that  turn 
to  his  law  leave  all  their  neighbours  nothing,  but  shall 
have  our  good  given  them  and  our  bodies  both  ;  but  if  we 
turn  as  they  do,  and  forsake  our  Saviour  too;  and  then 
(for  there  is  no  born  Turk  so  cruel  to  Christian  ^  ffllge 
folk  as  is  the  false  Christian  that  falleth  from  «Jrt»tUnm«t 
the  faith)  we  shall  stand  in  peril  if  we  perse-  SKls'San*  * 
vere  in  the  truth,  to  be  more  hardly  handled  folft- 
and  die  more  cruel  death  by  our  own  countrymen  at 
home,  than  if  we  were  taken  hence  and  carried  into 
Turkey.  These  fearful  heaps  of  perils  lie  so  heavy  at  our 
hearts,  while  we  wot  not  into  which  we  shall  fortune  to 
fall,  and  therefore  fear  all  the  worst,  that  (as  our  Saviour 
prophesied  of  the  people  of  Jerusalem)  *  many  wish 
among  us  already  before  the  peril  come,  that  the  moun 
tains  would  overwhelm  them,  or  the  valleys  open  and 
swallow  them  up  and  cover  them.  Therefore,  good  uncle, 
against  these  horrible  fears  of  these  terrible  tribulations, 
of  which  some,  ye  wot  well,  our  house  already  hath,  and 
the  remanent  stand  in  dread  of,  give  us,  while  God  lendeth 
you  us,  such  plenty  of  your  comfortable  counsel  as  I  may 
write  and  keep  with  us,  to  stay  us  when  God  shall  call 
you  hence. 

ANTONY. — Ah  !  my  good  cousin,  this  is  an 
heavy  hearing,  and  likewise  as  we  that  dwell  fSt? 
here  in  this  part  fear  that  thing  sore  now,  JJet 
which  few  years  past  feared  it  not  at  all ;  so  Jgy^J*  t°nftc 
doubt  I,  that  ere  it  long  be,  they  shall  fear  it  otS«n!fnttles 
as  much  that  think  themself  now  very  sure,  &c> 
because  they  dwell  farther  off.  Greece  feared  not  the 
Turk  when  that  I  was  born,  and  within  a  while  after,  the 
whole  empire  was  his.  The  great  Soudan  of  Syria  thought 
himself  more  than  his  match,  and  long  since  you  were 
born,  hath  he  that  empire  too.  Then  hath  he  taken  Bel- 

*  Lukexxiii. 


grade,  the  fortress  of  this  realm,  and  since  hath  he 
destroyed  our  noble  young  goodly  king.  And  now  strive 
an t$at ts saw  there  twain  for  us:  our  Lord  send  the  grace 
?n?pa5«?iS  tnat  tne  third  dog  carI7  not  awaY  tne  bone 
«csnan!£scSS*  ^rom  ^iem  kotn  '  What  should  I  speak  of  the 
mSics!  £  "  noble  strong  city  of  the  Rhodes,  the  winning 
whereof  he  counted  as  a  victory  against  the  whole  corps 
of  Christendom,  sith  all  Christendom  was  not  able  to 
defend  that  strong  town  against  him  ?  Howbeit,  if  the 
princes  of  Christendom  everywhere  about  would,  where 
as  need  was,  have  set  to  their  hands  in  time,  the  Turk 
had  never  taken  any  one  of  all  those  places.  But  partly 
dissensions  fallen  among  ourself,  partly  that  no  man 
careth  what  harm  other  folk  feel,  but  each  part  suffereth 
other  to  shift  for  itself,  the  Turk  is  in  few  years  wonder 
fully  increased,  and  Christendom  on  the  other  side  very 
sore  decayed :  and  all  this  worketh  our  wickedness,  with 
which  God  is  not  content. 

But  now,  whereas  you  desire  of  me  some  plenty  of 
comfortable  things  which  ye  may  put  in  remembrance, 
and  comfort  therewith  your  company ;  verily  in  the 
rehearsing  and  heaping  of  your  manifold  fears,  myself 
began  to  feel,  that  there  should  much  need  against  so 
many  troubles  many  comfortable  counsels.  For  surely  a 
little  before  your  coming,  as  I  devised  with  myself  upon 
the  Turk's  coming,  it  happened  my  mind  to  fall  suddenly 
from  that  into  the  devising  upon  my  own  departing  : 
wherein,  albeit  that  I  fully  put  my  trust  and  hope  to  be  a 
saved  soul  by  the  great  mercy  of  God,  yet  sith  no  man  is 
here  so  sure  that  without  revelation  may  clean  stand  out 
of  dread,  I  bethought  me  also  upon  the  pain  of  hell. 
And  after,  I  bethought  me  then  upon  the  Turk  again. 
And  first  methought  his  terror  nothing,  when  I  compared 
it  with  the  joyful  hope  of  heaven.  Then  compared  I  it 
on  the  other  side  with  the  fearful  dread  of  hell.  And 
therein  casting  in  my  mind  those  terrible  devilish  tormen 
tors,  with  the  deep  consideration  of  that  furious  endless 
fire;  methought,  that  if  the  Turk  with  his  whole  host, 
and  all  his  trumpets  and  timbrels  too,  were  to  kill  me  in 
my  bed  coming  to  my  chamber  door,  in  respect  of  the 


other  reckoning  I  regard  him  not  a  rush.  And  yet  when 
I  now  heard  your  lamentable  words,  laying  forth  as  it 
were  present  before  my  face  the  heap  of  heavy  sorrowful 
tribulation,  that  beside  those  that  are  already  fallen,  are  in 
short  space  like  to  follow,  I  waxed  therewith  myself  sud 
denly  somewhat  aflight. 

And  therefore  I  well  allow  your  request  in  this  behalf 
that  you  would  have  store  of  comfort  aforehand  ready  by 
you  to  resort  to,  and  to  lay  up  in  your  heart  as  a  triacle 
against  the  poison  of  all  desperate  dread  that  might  rise 
of  occasion  of  sore  tribulation.  And  herein  shall  I  be 
glad,  as  my  poor  wit  will  serve  me,  to  call  to  mind  with 
you  such  things,  as  I  before  have  read,  heard,  or  thought, 
upon,  that  may  conveniently  serve  us  to  this  purpose. 



That  the  Comforts  devised  ~by  the  old  Paynim  Philoso 
phers  were  insufficient,  and  the  cause  wherefore. 

IRST  shall  you,  good  cousin,  understand 
this,  that  the  natural  wise  men  of  this 
world,  the  old  moral  philosophers,  la 
boured  much  in  this  matter,  and  many 
natural  reasons  have  they  written,  whereby 
they  might  encourage  men  to  set  little  by 
such  goods,  or  such  trusts  either,  the  going  or  the 
srfie  cause  of  coming  whereof  are  the  matter  and  the  cause 
mtuiatton.  of  tribulation :  as  are  the  goods  of  fortune, 
riches,  favour,  friends,  fame,  worldly  worship,  and  such 
other  things;  or  of  the  body,  as  beauty,  strength, 
agility,  quickness,  and  health.  These  things  (ye  wot 
well)  coming  to  us,  are  matter  of  worldly  wealth ; 
and  taken  from  us  by  fortune,  or  by  force,  or  by  fear 
of  losing  them,  be  matter  of  adversity  and  tribulation. 
«at  trtimia.  ^or  tr^Dulati°n  seemeth  generally  to  signify 
tion  is  gene-  nothing  else  but  some  kind  of  grief,  either 
pain  of  the  body  or  heaviness  of  the  mind. 
Now  the  body  not  to  feel  that  it  feeleth,  all  the  wit  in 
the  world  cannot  bring  about.  But  that  the  mind  should 
not  be  grieved,  neither  with  the  pain  that  the  body  feeleth 
nor  with  occasions  of  heaviness  offered  and  given  unto 
the  soul  itself,  this  thing  laboured  the  philosophers  very 
much  about,  and  many  goodly  sayings  have  they  toward 
the  strength  and  comfort  against  tribulation,  exciting  men 
to  the  full  contempt  of  all  worldly  loss,  and  despising  of 
sickness,  and  all  bodily  grief,  painful  death  and  all.  How- 
beit  in  very  deed,  for  any  thing  that  ever  I  read  in  them, 
I  never  could  yet  find  that  ever  those  natural  reasons 


were  able  to  give  sufficient  comfort  of  themself.  For  they 
never  stretch  so  far,  but  that  they  leave  untouched,  for 
lack  of  necessary  knowledge,  that  special  point  which  is 
not  only  the  chief  comfort  of  all,  but,  without  which  also, 
all  other  comforts  are  nothing :  that  is,  to  wit,  the  re 
ferring  of  the  final  end  of  their  comfort  unto  &f)e  cfcfef  an» 
God,  and  to  repute  and  take  for  the  special  si)ecial  «<»»*«*• 
cause  of  comfort,  that  by  the  patient  sufferance  of  their 
tribulation  they  shall  attain  his  favour,  and  for  their  pain 
receive  reward  at  his  hand  in  heaven.  And  for  lack  of 
knowledge  of  this  end,  they  did  (as  they  needs  must) 
leave  untouched  also  the  very  special  mean,  without 
which  we  can  never  attain  to  this  comfort ;  that  is,  to 
wit,  the  gracious  aid  and  help  of  God  to  move, 
stir,  and  guide  us  forward,  in  the  referring  mean  of  ail 
all  our  ghostly  comfort,  yea,  and  our  worldly  c 
comfort  too,  all  unto  that  heavenly  end.  And  therefore, 
as  I  say,  for  the  lack  of  these  things,  all  their  comfortable 
counsels  are  very  far  insufficient.  Howbeit,  though  they 
be  far  unable  to  cure  our  disease  of  themself,  and  there 
fore  are  not  sufficient  to  be  taken  for  our  physicians, 
some  good  drugs  have  they  yet  in  their  shops,  for  which 
they  may  be  suffered  to  dwell  among  our  apothecaries, 
if  their  medicines  be  not  made  of  their  own  brains,  but 
after  the  bills  made  by  the  great  physician  God,  pre 
scribing  the  medicines  himself,  and  correcting  the  faults 
of  their  erroneous  receipts.  For  without  this  way  taken 
with  them,  they  shall  not  fail  to  do,  as  many  bold  blind 
apothecaries  do,  which  either  for  lucre,  or  of  a  foolish 
pride,  give  sick  folk  medicines  of  their  own  devising,  and 
therewith  kill  up  in  corners  many  such  simple  folk,  as 
they  find  so  foolish  to  put  their  lives  in  such  lewd  and 
unlearned  blind  bayards'  hands. 

We  shall,  therefore,  neither  fully  receive  these  philoso 
phers'  reasons  in  this  matter,  nor  yet  utterly  refuse  them ; 
but  using  them  in  such  order  as  shall  beseem  them,  the 
principal  and  the  effectual  medicines  against  these  dis 
eases  of  tribulation  shall  we  fetch  from  that  high,  great 
and  excellent  physician,  without  whom  we  could  never 
be  healed  of  our  very  deadly  disease  of  damnation.  For 


our  necessity  wherein,  the  Spirit  of  God  spiritually 
speaketh  of  himself  to  us,  and  biddeth  us  of  all  our 
health  give  him  the  honour;  and  therein  thus  saith  to 
us,  Honora  medicum ;  propter  necessitatem  etenim  ordina- 
vit  eum  Altissimus,* — Honour  thou  the  physician,  for  him 
hath  the  high  God  ordained  for  thy  necessity.  There 
fore,  let  us  require  the  high  physician,  our  blessed  Saviour 
Christ,  whose  holy  manhood  God  ordained  for  our  neces 
sity,  to  cure  our  deadly  wounds  with  the  medicine  made 
of  the  most  wholesome  blood  of  his  own  blessed  body : 
that  likewise  as  he  cured  by  that  incomparable  medicine 
our  mortal  malady,  it  may  like  him  to  send  us  and  put 
in  our  minds  such  medicines  at  this  time,  as  against  the 
sickness  and  sorrows  of  tribulations  may  so  comfort  and 
strength  us  in  his  grace,  as  our  deadly  enemy  the  devil 
may  never  have  the  power  by  his  poisoned  dart  of  mur 
mur,  grudge,  and  impatience,  to  turn  our  short  sickness 
of  worldly  tribulation  into  the  endless  everlasting  death 
of  infernal  damnation. 

*  Eccl.  xxxviii. 




That  for  a  foundation  men  must  needs  begin  with  Faith. 

ITH  all  our  principal  comfort  must  come  of 
God,  we  must  first  presuppose  in  him  to 
whom  we  shall  with  any  ghostly  counsel 
ive  any  effectual  comfort,  one  ground  to 
egin  withal,  whereupon  all  that  we  shall 
build  must  be  supported  and  stand:  that 
is,  to  wit,  the  ground  and  foundation  of  faith, 
without  which  had  ready  before,  all  the  spiri-  tie  founuatton 
tual  comfort  that  any  man  may  speak  of  can  of  al1  comfort- 
never  avail  a  fly.     For  likewise  as  it  were  utterly  vain  to 
lay  natural  reasons  of  comfort  to  him  that  hath  no  wit, 
so  were  it  undoubtedly  frustrate  to  lay  spiritual  causes  of 
comfort  to  him  that  hath  no  faith.    For  except  a  man  first 
believe  that  Holy  Scripture  is  the  word  of  God,  , 

,         i  i  *  1  /»   Vt         »      •  1  ^*C  to01"   Of 

and  that  the  word  ot  (jrod  is  true,  how  can  a  @o&  is  most 
man  take  any  comfort  of  that  that  the  Scrip-  tnte* 
tures  telleth  him  therein  ?    Needs  must  the  man  take  little 
fruit  of  the  Scripture,  if  he  either  believe  not  that  it  were 
the  word  of  God,  or  else  ween  that,  though  it  were,  it 
might  yet  be  for  all  that  untrue.     This  faith,  as  it  is  more 
faint,  or  more  strong,  so  shall  the  comfortable  words  of 
Holy  Scripture  stand  the  man  in  more  stead,  or  less. 

This  virtue  of  faith  can  neither  any  man  give  himself, 
nor  yet  any  one  man  another :  but  though  men  may 
with  preaching  be  ministers  unto  God  therein,  and  the 
man  with  his  own  free-will  obeying  freely  the  inward 
inspiration  of  God  be  a  weak  worker  with  Almighty  God 
therein;  yet  is  the  faith  indeed  the  gracious  gift  of  God 
himself.  For,  as  St.  James  saith,  Omne  datum  optimum, 


et  omne  donum  perfectum  desursum  est,  descendens  a  patre 
luminum*  —  Every  good  gift  and  every  perfect  gift  is  given 
from  above,  descending  from  the  Father  of  lights.  There 
fore,  feeling  our  faith  by  many  tokens  very  faint,  let  us 
pray  to  him  that  giveth  it,  that  it  may  please  him  to 
help  and  increase  it.  And  let  us  first  say  with  the  man  in 
the  Gospel,  Credo  Domine,  adjuva  incredulitatem  meam  — 
I  believe,  good  Lord,  but  help  thou  the  lack  of  my  belief. 
And  after,  let  us  pray  with  the  Apostles,  Domine,  adauge 
nobisfidem—  Lord  increase  our  faith.  And,  finally,  let  us 
consider  by  Christ's  saying  unto  them,  that  if  we  would 
not  suffer  the  strength  and  fervour  of  our  faith  to  wax 
lukewarm,  or  rather  key-cold,  and  in  manner  lose  his 
vigour  by  scattering  our  minds  abroad  about  so  many 
trifling  things,  that  of  the  matters  of  our  faith  we  very 
seldom  think,  but  that  we  would  withdraw  our  thought 
from  the  respect  and  regard  of  all  worldly  fantasies,  and 
so  gather  our  faith  together  into  a  little  narrow  room, 
and  like  the  little  grain  of  a  mustard  seed,f  which  is  of 
nature  hot,  set  it  in  the  garden  of  our  soul,  all  weeds 
pulled  out  for  the  better  feeding  of  our  faith  ;  then  shall 
it  grow,  and  so  spread  up  in  height,  that  the  birds,  that 
is,  to  wit,  the  holy  angels  of  heaven,  shall  breed  in  our 
soul  and  bring  forth  virtues  in  the  branches  of  our  faith. 
And  then  with  the  faithful  trust,  that  through  the  true 
belief  of  God's  word  we  shall  put  in  his  promise,  we 
shall  be  well  able  to  command  a  great  mountain  J  of  tri 
bulation  to  void  from  the  place  where  it  stood  in  our 
heart  ;  whereas,  with  a  very  feeble  faith  and  a  faint,  we 
shall  be  scant  able  to  remove  a  little  hillock.  And,  there 
fore,  for  the  first  conclusion,  as  we  must  of  necessity 
before  any  spiritual  comfort  presuppose  the  foundation 

Draper  in  ttt-  °^  ^a*tn  '  SO  S^  no  man  can  g^ve  us  faith,  but 
tuia'tion  must  only  God,  let  us  never  cease  to  call  upon  God 

ne^er  cease. 

VINCENT.  —  Forsooth,  my  good  uncle,  methinketh  that 
this  foundation  of  faith,  which  (as  you  say)  must  be  laid 
first,  is  so  necessarily  requisite,  that  without  it  all 

*  Jacob,  i.  f  Mattb.  xvii.  J  Mar.  xi. 


spiritual  comfort  were  utterly  given  in  vain.  And,  there 
fore,  now  shall  we  pray  God  for  a  full  and  a  fast  faith. 
And  I  pray  you,  good  uncle,  proceed  you  farther  in  the 
process  of  your  matter  of  spiritual  comfort  against  tribu 

ANTONY. — That  shall  I,  cousin,  with  good  will. 



The  first  Comfort  in  Tribulation  may  a  man  take  in  this, 
when  he  feeleth  in  himself  a  desire  and  longing  to  be 
comforted  by  God. 

WILL  in  my  poor  mind  assign  for  the 
first  comfort  the  desire  and  longing  to 
be  by  God  comforted.  And  not  without 
some  reason  call  I  this  the  first  cause  of 
comfort.  For  like  as  the  cure  of  that 
person  is  in  a  manner  desperate,  that 
hath  no  will  to  be  cured;  so  is  the  discomfort  of  that 
person  desperate,  that  desireth  not  his  own  comfort. 

And  here  shall  I  note  you  two  kinds  of  folk  that  are 
in  tribulation  and  heaviness.  One  sort,  that  will  seek  for 
no  comfort;  another  sort,  that  will.  And  yet  of  those 
that  will  not  are  there  also  two  sorts.  For  first,  one  sort 
there  are  that  are  so  drowned  in  sorrow,  that  they  fall 
into  a  careless  deadly  dulness,  regarding  nothing,  think 
ing  almost  of  nothing,  no  more  than  if  they  lay  in  a 
lethargy,  with  which  it  may  so  fall  that  wit  and  remem 
brance  will  wear  away,  and  fall  even  fair  from  them. 
And  this  comfortless  kind  of  heaviness  in  tribulation  is 
the  highest  kind  of  the  deadly  sin  of  sloth.  Another  sort 
are  there  that  will  seek  for  no  comfort,  nor  yet  none 
receive,  but  are  in  their  tribulation  (be  it  loss  or  sickness) 
so  testy,  so  furnish,  and  so  far  out  of  all  patience,  that 
it  booteth  no  man  to  speak  to  them :  and  these  are  in  a 
manner  with  impatience  as  furious,  as  though  they  were 
in  half  a  phrenzy,  and  may,  with  a  custom  of  such 
fashioned  behaviour,  fall  in  thereto  full  and  whole.  And 


this  kind  of  heaviness  in  tribulation  is  even  a  mischievous 
high  branch  of  the  mortal  sin  of  Ire. 

Then  is  there,  as  I  told  you,  another  kind  of  folk, 
which  fain  would  be  comforted.  And  yet  are  they  of  two 
sorts  too.  One  sort  are  those  that  in  their  sorrow  seek 
for  worldly  comfort ;  and  of  them  shall  we  now  speak  the 
less,  for  the  divers  occasions  that  we  shall  after  have  to 
touch  them  in  more  places  than  one.  But  this  will  I 
here  say,  that  I  learned  of  St.  Bernard :  He  that  in  tri 
bulation  turneth  himself  unto  worldly  vanities,  to  get 
help  and  comfort  by  them,  fareth  like  a  man  that  in  peril 
of  drowning  catcheth  whatsoever  cometh  next  to  hand, 
and  that  holdeth  he  fast,  be  it  never  so  simple  a  stick ; 
but  then  that  helpeth  him  not,  for  that  stick  he  draweth 
down  under  the  water  with  him,  and  there  lie  they 

drowned  both  together.     So  surely  if  we  cus-  _ 

,«  ,  r       J    r    .  .       ,       £f)e  Derp  tuft  of 

torn  ourself  to  put  our  trust  of  comfort  in  the  au  bain  botnty 

delight  of  these  peevish  worldly  things,  God  * 
shall  for  that  foul  fault  suffer  our  tribulation  to  grow  so 
great,  that  all  the  pleasures  of  this  world  shall  never  bear 
us  up,  but  all  our  peevish  pleasure  shall  in  the  depth  of 
tribulation  drown  with  us. 

The  other  sort  is,  I  say,  of  those  that  long  and  desire 
to  be  comforted  of  God.  And,  as  I  told  you  before,  they 
have  an  undoubted  great  cause  of  comfort,  even  in  that 
point  alone,  that  they  consider  themselves  to  desire  and 
long  to  be  by  Almighty  God  comforted.  This  mind  of  theirs 
may  well  be  cause  of  great  comfort  unto  them  for  two 
great  considerations.  The  one  is,  that  they  see  themself 
seek  for  their  comfort  where  they  cannot  fail  to  find  it. 
For  God  both  can  give  them  comfort,  and  will.  He  can, 
for  he  is  almighty :  he  will,  for  he  is  all  good,  and  hath 
himself  promised,  Petite,  et  acdpletis — Ask,  and  ye  shall 
have.*  He  that  hath  faith  (as  he  must  needs  have  that 
shall  take  comfort)  cannot  doubt,  but  that  God  will  surely 
keep  his  promise.  Arid  therefore  hath  he  a  great  cause 
to  be  of  good  comfort,  as  I  say,  in  that  he  considereth, 
that  he  longeth  to  be  comforted  by  him,  which  his  faith 
maketh  him  sure  will  not  fail  to  comfort  him. 

*  Matth.  vii. 


But  here  consider  this,  that  I  speak  here  of  him  that  in 
tribulation  longeth  to  be  comforted  by  God  ;  and  it  is  he 
that  referreth  the  manner  of  his  comforting  to  God,  hold 
ing  himself  content,  whether  it  be  by  the  taking  away  or 
the  minishment  of  the  tribulation  itself,  or  by  the  giving 
him  patience  and  spiritual  consolation  therein.  For  of 
him  that  only  longeth  to  have  God  take  his  trouble  from 
him,  we  cannot  so  well  warrant  that  mind  for  a  cause  of  so 
great  comfort.  For  both  may  he  desire  that,  that  never 
inindeth  to  be  the  better ;  and  may  miss  also  the  effect  of 
his  desire,  because  his  request  is  haply  not  good  for 
himself.  And  of  this  kind  of  longing  and  requiring  we 
shall  have  occasion  farther  to  speak  hereafter.  But  he 
which  referring  the  manner  of  his  comfort  unto  God, 
desireth  of  God  to  be  comforted,  asketh  a  thing  so  lawful 
and  so  pleasant  unto  God,  that  he  cannot  fail  to  speed  : 
and  therefore  hath  he  (as  I  say)  great  cause  to  take  com 
fort  in  the  very  desire  itself. 

Another  cause  hath  he  to  take  of  that  desire  a  very 
great  occasion  of  comfort.  For  sith  his  desire  is  good, 
and  declareth  unto  himself  that  he  hath  in  God  a  good 
faith,  it  is  a  good  token  unto  him  that  he  is  not  an  object 
cast  out  of  God's  gracious  favour,  while  he  perceiveth 
that  God  hath  put  such  a  virtuous  well  ordered  appetite 
Mttjeteot pro-  in  his  mind.  For  as  every  evil  mind  cometh 
goToVtS  of  the  world,  and  ourself,  and  the  devil;  so  is 
min&.  every  such  good  mind  either  immediately,  or  by 

the  mean  of  our  good  angel,  or  other  gracious  occasion, 
inspired  into  man's  heart  by  the  goodness  of  God  himself. 
And  what  a  comfort  then  may  this  be  unto  us,  when  we  by 
that  desire  perceive  a  sure  undoubted  token,  that  toward 
our  final  salvation  our  Saviour  is  himself  so  graciously 
busy  about  us. 



That  Tribulation  is  a  mean  to  draw  men  to  that  good 
mind,  to  desire  and  long  for  the  Comfort  of  God. 

INCENT.  —  FORSOOTH,  good  uncle,  this 
good  mind  of  longing  for  God's  comfort 
is  a  good  cause  of  great  comfort  indeed : 
our  Lord  in  tribulation  send  it  us !  But 
by  this  I  see  well,  that  wo  may  they  be 
which  in  tribulation  lack  that  mind,  and 
that  desire  not  to  be  comforted  by  God,  but  are  either  of 
sloth  or  impatience  discomfortless,  or  of  folly  seek  for 
their  chief  ease  and  comfort  anywhere  else. 

ANTONY. — That  is,  good  cousin,  very  true,  as  long  as 
they  stand  in  that  state.  But  then  must  you  consider, 
that  tribulation  is  yet  a  mean  to  drive  him  from  that  state. 
And  that  is  one  of  the  causes  for  which  God  sendeth  it 
unto  man.  For  albeit  that  pain  was  ordained 
of  God  for  the  punishment  of  sins  (for  which 
they  that  can  never  now  but  sin,  can  never  be  but  ever 
punished  in  hell),  yet  in  this  world,  in  which  his  high 
mercy  giveth  men  space  to  be  better,  the  punishment  by 
tribulation  that  he  sendeth,  serveth  ordinarily  for  a  mean 
of  amendment. 

St.  Paul  *  was  himself  sore  against  Christ,  till  Christ 
gave  him  a  great  fall  and  threw  him  to  the  ground,  and 
Btrake  him  stark  blind :  and  with  that  tribulation  he 
turned  to  him  at  the  first  word,  and  God  was  his  physi 
cian,  and  healed  him  soon  after  both  in  body  and  soul 
by  his  minister  Ananias,  and  made  him  his  blessed 

*  Act. «. 


Some  are  in  the  beginning  of  tribulation  very  stubborn 
and  stiff  against  God,  and  yet  at  length  tribulation  bring- 
eth  them  home.  The  proud  king  Pharaoh*  did  abide 
and  endure  two  or  three  of  the  first  plagues,  and  would 
not  once  stoop  at  them.  But  then  God  laid  on  a  sorer 
lash  that  made  him  cry  to  him  for  help,  and  then  sent  he 
for  Moses  and  Aaron, f  and  confessed  himself  a  sinner, 
and  God  for  good  and  righteous,  and  prayed  them  to 
pray  for  him,  and  to  withdraw  that  plague,  and  he  would 
let  them  go.  But  when  his  tribulation  was  withdrawn, 
then  was  he  naught  again.  So  was  his  tribulation  occa 
sion  of  his  profit,  and  his  help  again  cause  of  his  harm. 
For  his  tribulation  made  him  call  to  God,  and  his  help 
made  hard  his  heart  again.  Many  a  man  that  in  an 
easy  tribulation  falleth  to  seek  his  ease  in  the  pastime  of 
worldly  fantasies,  findeth  in  a  greater  pain  all  those  com 
forts  so  feeble,  that  he  is  fain  to  fall  to  the  seeking  of 
God's  help.  And  therefore  is,  I  say,  the  very  tribulation 
itself  many  times  a  mean  to  bring  the  man  to  the  taking 
of  the  afore-remembered  comfort  therein :  that  is,  to  wit, 
to  the  desire  of  comfort  given  by  God,  which  desire  of 
God's  comfort  is,  as  I  have  proved  you,  great  cause  of 
comfort  itself. 

*  Exod.  vii.  t  Exod.  viii. 



The  special  mean  to  get  this  first  Comfort  in  Tribulation. 

,  though  the  tribulation  itself  be 
a  mean  oftentimes  to  get  man  this  first 
comfort  in  it,  yet  itself  sometime  alone 
bringeth  not  a  man  to  it.  And  therefore 
sith  without  this  comfort  first  had,  there 
can  in  tribulation  none  other  good  comfort 
come  forth,  we  must  labour  the  means  that  this  first  com 
fort  may  come.  And  thereunto  seemeth  me,  that  if  the 
man  of  sloth,  or  impatience,  or  hope  of  worldly  comfort, 
have  no  mind  to  desire  and  seek  for  comfort  of  God; 
those  that  are  his  friends  that  come  to  visit  and  comfort 
him  must  afore  all  things  put  that  point  in  his  mind,  and 
not  spend  the  time  (as  they  commonly  do)  in  trifling  and 
turning  him  to  the  fantasies  of  the  world.  They  must 
also  move  him  to  pray  God  put  this  desire  in  his  mind, 
which  when  he  getteth  once  he  then  hath  the  first  com 
fort,  and  without  doubt  (if  it  be  well  considered),  a  com 
fort  marvellous  great.  His  friends  also,  that  thus  counsel 
him,  must  unto  the  attaining  thereof  help  to  pray  for  him 
themself,  and  cause  him  to  desire  good  folk  to  help  him 
to  pray  therefor.  And  then,  if  these  ways  be  taken  for 
the  getting,  I  nothing  doubt  but  the  good  ness  of  God  shall 
give  it. 

c  2 



It  sufficeth  not  that  a  man  have  a  desire  to  be  comforted  by 
God  only  by  the  taking  away  of  the  Tribulation. 

INCENT.— VERILY  methinketh,  good  un 
cle,  that  this  counsel  is  very  good.  For 
except  the  person  have  first  a  desire  to  be 
comforted  by  God,  else  can  I  not  see  what 
it  can  avail  to  give  him  any  further  counsel 
of  any  spiritual  comfort.  Howbeit,  what 
if  the  man  have  this  desire  of  God's  comfort,  that  is  to 
wit,  that  it  may  please  God  to  comfort  him  in  his  tribula 
tion  by  taking  that  tribulation  from  him;  is  not  this  a 
good  desire  of  God's  comfort,  and  a  desire  sufficient  for 
him  that  is  in  tribulation  ? 

ANTONY. — No,  cousin,  that  is  it  not.  I  touched  before 
a  word  of  this  point,  and  passed  it  over,  because  I  thought 
it  would  fall  in  our  way  again,  and  so  wot  I  well  it  will 
ofter  than  once.  And  now  am  I  glad  that  you  move  it 
me  here  yourself.  A  man  may  many  times  well  and  with 
out  sin  desire  of  God  the  tribulation  to  be  taken  from 
him ;  but  neither  may  we  desire  that  in  every  case,  nor 
yet  very  well  in  no  case  (except  very  few),  but  under  a 
certain  condition,  either  expressed  or  implied.  For  tri- 

«&e atbets  bulations  are  (ye  wot  well)  of  many  sundry 
fcUitts  of  tt  li>u«  !  .  ,  11  f  i  • 

rations,  kinds :  some  by  loss  ot  goods  or  possessions ; 

some  by  the  sickness  of  ourself,  and  some  by  the  loss 
of  friends,  or  by  some  other  pain  put  unto  our  bodies ; 
some  by  the  dread  of  losing  those  things  that  we  fain 
would  save,  under  which  fear  fall  all  the  same  things  that 
we  have  spoken  before.  For  we  may  fear  loss  of  goods 
or  possessions,  or  the  loss  of  our  friends,  their  grief  and 


trouble,  or  our  own ;  by  sickness,  imprisonment,  or  other 
bodily  pain  we  may  be  troubled  with  the  dread  of  death, 
and  many  a  good  man  is  troubled  most  of  all  with  the 
fear  of  that  thing,  which  he  that  most  need  hath  fearest 
least  of  all,  that  is  to  wit,  the  fear  of  losing  through 
deadly  sin  the  life  of  his  silly  soul.  And  this  last  kind  of 
tribulation,  as  the  sorest  tribulation  of  all,  though  we 
touched  here  and  there  some  pieces  thereof  before,  yet 
the  chief  part  and  the  principal  point  will  I  reserve,  to 
treat  apart  effectually  that  matter  in  the  last  end. 

But  now,  as  I  said,  where  the  kinds  of  tribulation  are 
so  divers,  some  of  these  tribulations  a  man  may  pray  God 
take  from  him,  and  take  some  comfort  in  the  trust  that  God 
will  so  do.  And  therefore  against  hunger,  sickness,  and 
bodily  hurt,  and  against  the  loss  of  either  body  or  soul, 
men  may  lawfully  many  times  pray  to  the  goodness  of 
God,  either  for  themself  or  their  friend.  And  toward  this 
purpose  are  expressly  prayed  many  devout  orisons  in  the 
common  service  of  our  Mother  Holy  Church.  And 
toward  our  help  in  some  of  these  things  serve  some  of  the 
petitions  in  the  Pater-noster*  wherein  we  pray  daily  for 
our  daily  food,  and  to  be  preserved  from  the  fall  in  temp 
tation,  and  to  be  delivered  from  evil.  But  yet  may  we 
not  alway  pray  for  the  taking  away  from  us  of  every  kind 
of  temptation.  For  if  a  man  should  in  every  sickness 
pray  for  his  health  again,  when  should  he  shew  himself 
content  to  die  and  to  depart  unto  God  ?  And  that  mind 
must  a  man  have,  ye  wot  well,  or  else  it  will  not  be  well. 

One  tribulation  is  it  to  good  men,  to  feel  in  themselt 
the  conflict  of  the  flesh  against  the  soul,  the  rebellion  of 
sensuality  against  the  rule  and  governance  of  reason,  the 
relics  that  remain  in  mankind  of  old  original  sin,  of  which 
St.  Paul  so  sore  complaineth  in  his  Epistle  to  the  Ro 
mans,  f  And  yet  may  we  not  pray,  while  we  stand  in  this 
life,  to  have  this  kind  of  tribulation  utterly  taken  from 
us.  For  it  is  left  us  by  God's  ordinance  to  strive  against 
it,  and  fight  withal,  and  by  reason  and  grace  to  master  it, 
and  use  it  for  the  matter  of  our  merit.  For  the  salvation 
of  our  soul  may  we  boldly  pray;  for  grace  may  we  boldly 
*  Matth.  vi.  f  Rom.  vii. 


pray;  for  faith,  for  hope,  and  for  charity,  and  for  every 
such  virtue  as  shall  serve  us  to  heaven-ward.  But  as  for 
all  other  things  before  remembered,  in  which  is  conceived 
the  matter  of  every  kind  of  tribulation,  we  may  never  well 
make  prayers  so  precisely  but  that  we  must  express  or 
imply  a  condition  therein  ;  that  is  to  wit,  that  if  God  see 
the  contrary  better  for  us,  we  refer  it  whole  to  his  will, 
and  instead  of  our  grief  taking  away,  pray  that  God  may 
send  us  of  his  goodness  either  spiritual  comfort  to  take  it 
gladly,  or  strength  at  leastwise  to  bear  it  patiently.  For 
if  we  determine  with  ourself  that  we  will  take  no  comfort 
in  nothing,  but  in  the  taking  of  our  tribulation  from  us  ; 
then  either  prescribe  we  to  God,  that  we  will  he  shall  no 
better  turn  do  us,  though  he  would,  than  we  will  ourself 
appoint  him ;  or  else  do  we  declare  that  what  thing  is 
best  for  us,  ourself  can  better  tell  than  he. 

And  therefore,  I  say,  let  us  in  tribulation  desire  his 
comfort  and  help,  and  let  us  remit  the  manner  of  that 
comfort  unto  his  own  high  pleasure ;  which,  when  we  do, 
let  us  nothing  doubt,  but  that  like  as  his  high  wisdom 
better  seeth  what  is  best  for  us  than  we  can  see  ourself,  so 
shall  his  high  sovereign  goodness  give  us  that  thing  that 
shall  indeed  be  best.  For  else  if  we  will  presume  to  stand  to 
our  own  choice,  except  it  so  be  that  God  offer  us  the  choice 
himself  (as  he  did  to  David  in  the  choice  of  his  own 
punishment,  after  his  high  pride  conceived  in  the  number 
ing  of  his  people*),  we  may  foolishly  choose  the  worst ; 
and  by  the  prescribing  unto  God  ourself  so  precisely  what 
we  will  that  he  shall  do  for  us  (except  that  of  his  gracious 
favour  he  reject  our  folly),  he  shall  for  indignation  grant 
us  our  own  request,  and  after  shall  we  well  find  that  it 
shall  turn  us  to  harm. 

How  many  men  attain  health  of  body,  that  were  better 
for  their  souls'  health  their  bodies  were  sick  still !  How 
many  get  out  of  prison,  that  hap  on  such  harm  abroad  as 
the  prison  should  have  kept  them  from  !  How  many  that 
have  been  loth  to  lose  their  worldly  goods,  have  in  keeping 
of  their  goods  soon  after  lost  their  lives  !  So  blind  is  our 
mortality,  and  so  unaware  what  will  fall,  so  unsure  also 

*  2  Re<r.  xxiv. 


what  manner  of  mind  we  will  have  to-morrow,  that  God 
could  not  lightly  do  man  a  more  vengeance  than  in  this 
world  to  grant  him  his  own  foolish  wishes.  What  wit 
have  we  (poor  fools)  to  wit  what  will  serve  us,  when  the 
blessed  Apostle  himself  in  his  sore  tribulation,*  praying 
thrice  unto  God  to  take  it  away  from  him,  was  answered 
again  by  God  in  a  manner  that  he  was  but  a  fool  in  asking 
that  request,but  that  the  help  of  God's  grace  in  that  tribula 
tion  to  strengthen  him  was  far  better  for  him,  than  to  take 
the  tribulation  from  him  ?  And  therefore,  by  experience 
perceiving  well  the  truth  of  that  lesson,  he  giveth  us  good 
warning  not  to  be  bold  of  our  own  minds  when  we  require 
aught  of  God,  nor  to  be  precise  in  our  askings,  but  refer 
the  choice  to  God  at  his  own  pleasure.  For  his  own  Holy 
Spirit  so  sore  desireth  our  weal,  that,  as  men  say,  he 
groaneth  for  us  in  such  wise  as  no  tongue  can  tell.  Nos 
autem  (saith  St.  Paul)f  quid  oremus  ut  oportet,  nescimus ; 
sed  ipse  Spiritus  postulat  pro  nobis  gemitibus  inenarrabilibus, 
— We,  what  we  may  pray  for  that  were  behoveable  for  us, 
cannot  ourself  tell :  but  the  Spirit  himself  desireth  for  us 
with  unspeakable  groanings. 

And  therefore,  I  say,  for  conclusion  of  this  point,  let 
us  never  ask  of  God  precisely  our  own  ease  by  delivering 
us  from  our  tribulation,  but  pray  for  his  aid  and  comfort, 
by  which  ways  himself  shall  best  like ;  and  then  may  we 
take  comfort,  even  of  our  such  request.  For  both  be  we 
sure  that  this  mind  cometh  of  God,  and  also  be  we  very 
sure  that  as  he  beginneth  to  work  with  us,  so  (but  if 
ourself  flit  from  him)  he  will  not  fail  to  tarry  with  us ;  and 
then,  he  dwelling  with  us,  what  trouble  can  do  us  harm  ? 
Si  Deus  pro  nobis,  quis  contra  nos? — If  God  be  with  us 
(saith  St.  Paul),  who  can  stand  against  us  ? J 

*  2  Cor.  xii.  f  Rom.viii.  %  Rom.viii. 



A  great  Comfort  it  may  be  in  Tribulation,  that  every  Tri 
bulation  is,  if  we  our  self  will,  a  thing  either  medicinable 
or  else  more  than  medicinable. 

INCENT.— You  have,  good  uncle,  well 
opened  and  declared  the  question  that  I 
demanded  you,  that  is  to  wit,  what  manner 
of  comfort  a  man  might  pray  for  in  tri 
bulation.  And  now  proceed  forth,  good 
uncle,  and  shew  us  yet  farther  some  other 
spiritual  comfort  in  tribulation. 

ANTONY. — This  may  be,  thinketh  me,  good  cousin, 
great  comfort  in  tribulation,  that  every  tribulation  which 
any  time  falleth  unto  us  is  either  sent  to  be  medicinable, 
if  men  will  so  take  it ;  or  may  become  medicinable,  if 
men  will  make  of  it ;  or  is  better  than  medicinable,  but  if 
we  will  forsake  it. 

VINCENT. — Surely,  this  is  very  comfortable,  if  we  may 
well  perceive  it. 

ANTONY. — These  three  things  that  I  tell  you,  we  shall 
consider  thus.  Every  tribulation  that  we  fall  in,  cometh 
either  by  our  own  known  deserving  deed  bringing  us 
thereunto,  as  the  sickness  that  followeth  our  intemperate 
surfeit,  or  the  prison ment  or  other  punishment  put  upon 
a  man  for  his  heinous  crime ;  or  else  is  it  sent  us  by  God 
without  any  certain  deserving  cause  open  and  known 
unto  ourself,  either  for  punishment  of  some  sins  past 
(certainly  we  know  not  for  which),  or  for  preserving  us 
from  some  sins,  in  which  we  were  else  like  to  fall,  or, 
finally,  for  no  respect  of  the  man's  sin  at  all,  but  for  the 
proof  of  his  patience  and  increase  of  his  merit.  In  all  the 
former  cases  tribulation  is  (if  he  will)  medicinable :  in 
this  last  case  of  all  it  is  better  than  medicinable. 



The  declaration  larger  concerning  them  that  fall  in  Tribu 
lation  by  their  own  known  fault,  and  that  yet  such  Tri 
bulation  is  medicinable. 

IN  CENT. — THIS   seemeth   me   very  good, 
good  uncle,  saving  that  it  seemeth  some 
what  brief  and  short,  and  thereby  methink- 
eth  somewhat  obscure  and  dark. 

ANTONY. — We  shall  therefore,  to  give  it 
light  withal,  touch  every  member  somewhat 
more  at  large.  One  member  is,  you  wot  well,  of  them 
that  fall  in  tribulation  through  their  own  certain  well- 
deserving  deed  open  and  known  unto  themself,  as  where 
we  fall  in  a  sickness  following  upon  our  own  gluttonous 
feasting,  or  a  man  that  is  punished  for  his  own  open  fault. 
These  tribulations,  lo !  and  such  other  like,  albeit  that 
they  may  seem  discomfortable,  in  that  a  man  may  be 
sorry  to  think  himself  the  cause  of  his  own  harm  ;  yet 
hath  he  good  cause  of  comfort  in  them,  if  he  consider 
that  he  may  make  them  medicinable  for  himself,  if  he 
himself  will.  For  whereas  there  was  due  to  that  sin 
(except  it  were  purged  here)  a  far  greater  punishment 
after  this  world  in  another  place  ;  this  worldly  tribulation 
of  pain  and  punishment,  by  God's  good  provision  for  him 
put  upon  him  here  in  this  world  before,  shall  by  the 
mean  of  Christ's  passion  (if  the  man  will  in  true  faith 
and  good  hope,  by  meek  and  patient  sufferance  of  his 
tribulation,  so  make  it),  serve  him  for  a  sure  medicine,  to 
cure  him  and  clearly  discharge  him  of  all  the  sickness  and 
disease  of  those  pains,  that  else  he  should  suffer  after. 

For  such  is  the  great  goodness  of  Almighty  God,  that 
he  punisheth  not  one  thing  twice.  And  albeit  so,  that 
this  punishment  is  put  unto  the  man,  not  of  his  own 


election  and  free  choice,  but  so  by  force  as  he  would  fain 
avoid  it,  and  falleth  in  it  against  his  will,  and  therefore 
seemeth  worthy  no  thank ;  yet  so  far  passeth  the  great 
goodness  of  God  the  poor  imperfect  goodness  of  man, 
that  though  men  make  their  reckoning  one  here  with 
another  such,  God  yet  of  his  high  bounty  in  man's 
account  toward  him  alloweth  it  far  otherwise.  For 
though  that  otherwise  a  man  fall  in  his  pain  by  his  own 
fault,  and  also  first  against  his  will,  yet  as  soon  as  he 
confesseth  his  fault,  and  applieth  his  will  to  be  content 
to  suffer  that  pain  and  punishment  for  the  same,  and 
waxeth  sorry,  not  for  that  only  that  he  shall  sustain  such 
punishment,  but  for  that  also  that  he  hath  offended  God, 
and  thereby  deserved  much  more :  our  Lord  from  that 
time  counteth  it  not  for  pain  taken  against  his  will,  but  it 
shall  be  a  marvellous  good  medicine  and  work  (as  a 
willingly  taken  pain)  the  purgation  and  cleansing  of  his 
soul,  with  gracious  remission  of  his  sin,  and  of  the  far 
greater  pain  that  else  had  been  prepared  therefor  per- 
adventure  in  hell  for  ever.  For  many  there  are  undoubt 
edly,  that  would  else  drive  forth  and  die  in  their  deadly 
sin,  which  yet  in  such  tribulation,  feeling  their  own  frailty 
so  effectually,  and  the  false  flattering  world  failing  them 
so  fully,  turn  goodly  to  God  and  call  for  mercy,  and  by 
grace  make  virtue  of  necessity,  and  make  a  medicine  of 
their  malady,  taking  their  trouble  meekly,  and  make  a 
right  godly  end. 

Consider  well  the  story  of  Achan,  that  committed  sacri 
lege  at  the  great  city  of  Hierico,  whereupon  God  took  a 
great  vengeance  upon  the  children  of  Israel,  and  after 
told  them  the  cause,  and  bade  them  go  seek  the  fault  and 
try  it  out  by  lots ;  when  the  lot  fell  upon  the  very  man 
that  did  it,  being  tried  by  the  falling  first  upon  his  tribe, 
and  then  upon  his  house,  and  finally  upon  his  person,  he 
might  well  see  that  he  wasdeprehended  and  taken  against 
his  will,  but  yet,  at  the  good  exhortation  of  Josue,*  say 
ing  unto  him,  Fill  mi,  da  gloriam  Domino  Deo  Israel,  et 
confitere,  ac  indica  mihi  quidfeceris,  ne  abscondas, — Mine 
own  son,  give  glory  to  the  Lord  God  of  Israel,  and  con- 
*  Josue  vii. 


fess,  and  shew  me  what  thou  hast  done,  hide  it  not ; — he 
confessed  humbly  the  theft  and  meekly  took  his  death 
therefor,  and  had,  I  doubt  not,  both  strength  and  com 
fort  in  his  pain,  and  died  a  very  good  man  :  which,  if  he 
had  never  come  in  tribulation,  had  been  in  peril  never 
haply  to  have  had  just  remorse  thereof  in  all  his  whole 
life,  but  might  have  died  wretchedly,  and  gone  to  the  devil 
eternally.  And  thus  made  this  thief  a  good  medicine  of 
his  well-deserved  pain  and  tribulation.  Consider  the  well- 
converted  thief  that  hung  on  Christ's  right  hand.*  Did 
riot  he  (by  his  meek  sufferance  and  humble  knowledge  of 
his  fault,  asking  forgiveness  of  God,  and  yet  content  to 
suffer  for  his  sin)  make  of  his  just  punishment  and  well- 
deserved  tribulation  a  very  good  special  medicine  to  cure 
him  of  all  pain  in  the  other  world,  and  win  him  eternal 
salvation  ?  And  thus,  I  say,  that  this  kind  of  tribulation, 
though  it  seem  the  most  base  and  the  least  comfortable, 
is  yet  (if  the  man  will  so  make  it)  a  very  marvellous 
wholesome  medicine ;  and  may  therefore  be  to  the  man 
that  will  so  consider  it,  a  great  cause  of  comfort  and 
spiritual  consolation. 

*  Lucse  xxiii. 



T7ie  second  point,  that  is  to  wit,  of  that  Tribulation  that  -is 
sent  us  by  God,  without  any  open  certain  deserving 
cause  known  to  ourself,  and  that  this  kind  of  Tribulation 
is  medicinable,  if  men  will  so  take  it,  and  therefore  great 
occasion  of  Comfort. 

INCENT.— VERILY,  mine  uncle,  this  first 
kind  of  tribulation  have  you  to  my  mind 
opened  sufficiently,  and  therefore  I  pray 
you  resort  now  to  the  second. 

ANTONY. — The  second  kind  was,  you 
wot  well,  of  such  tribulation  as  is  so  sent 
us  by  God,  that  we  know  no  certain  cause  deserving  the 
present  trouble,  as  we  certainly  know  that  upon  such  a 
pursuit  we  fall  in  such  a  sickness ;  or  as  the  thief  knoweth 
that  for  such  a  certain  theft  he  is  fallen  into  such  a  cer 
tain  punishment.  But  yet  sith  we  seldom  lack  faults 
against  God,  worthy  and  well  deserving  great  punish 
ment:  indeed  we  may  well  think,  and  wisdom  it  is  so  to 
do,  that  with  sin  we  have  deserved  it,  and  that  God  for 
some  sin  sendeth  it,  though  we  certainly  know  not  ourself 
for  which.  And,  therefore,  as  yet  thus  far  forth  is  this 
kind  of  tribulation  somewhat  in  effect  in  comfort  to  be 
taken  like  unto  the  other :  for  this,  as  you  see,  if  we  thus 
\vill  take  it,  well  reckoning  it  to  be  sent  for  sin,  and  suf 
fering  it  meekly  therefor,  is  medicinable  against  the  pain 
in  the  other  world  to  come  for  our  sins  in  this  world  past, 
which  is,  as  I  shewed  you,  a  cause  of  right  great  comfort. 
But  yet  may  then  this  kind  of  tribulation  be  to  some  men 
of  more  sober  living,  and  thereby  of  the  more  clear  con 
science,  somewhat  a  little  more  comfortable.  For  though 
they  may  none  otherwise  reckon  themselves  than  sinners 
(for  as  St.  Paul  saith,*  Nihil  mihi  conscius  sum,  sed  non 

•  1  Cor.  iv. 


in  hoc  justificatus  sum, — My  conscience  grudgeth  me  not 
of  any  thing",  but  yet  am  I  not  thereby  justified;  and  as 
St.  John  saith,*  Si  dixerimus,  quin  peccatum  non  lidbemus, 
ipsi  nos  seducimus  et  veritas  in  nobis  non  est, — If  we  say 
that  we  have  no  sin  in  us,  we  beguile  ourself,  and 
truth  is  there  not  in  us),  yet  forasmuch  as  the  cause  is 
to  them  not  so  certain,  as  it  is  to  the  other  afore  remem 
bered  in  the  first  kind,  and  that  it  is  also  certain,  that 
God  sometime  sendeth  tribulation  for  keeping  and  pre 
serving  a  man  from  such  sin  as  he  should  else  fall  in, 
and  sometime  also  for  exercise  of  patience  and  increase 
of  merit,  great  cause  of  increase  in  comfort  have  those 
folk  of  the  clearer  conscience  in  the  fervour  of  their  tri 
bulation,  in  that  they  may  take  the  comfort  of  double 
medicine,  and  of  that  is  the  kind  which  we  shall  finally 
speak  of  that  I  call  better  than  medicinable.  But  as  I 
have  before  spoken  of  this  kind  of  tribulation,  how  it  is 
medicinable  in  that  it  cureth  the  sin  past,  and  purchaseth 
remission  of  the  pain  due  therefor;  so  let  us  somewhat 
consider,  how  this  tribulation  sent  us  by  God  is  medi 
cinable,  in  that  it  preserve  thus  from  the  sins  into  which 
we  were  else  like  to  fall. 

If  that  thing  be  a  good  medicine  that  restoreth  us  our 
health  when  we  lose  it ;  as  good  a  medicine  must  this 
needs  be  that  preserveth  our  health  while  we  have  it,  and 
suffereth  us  not  to  fall  into  the  painful  sickness  that  must 
after  drive  us  to  a  painful  plaster.  Now  seeth  God 
sometime  that  worldly  wealth  is  with  one  (that  is  yet  good) 
coming  upon  him  so  fast,  that  foreseeing  how  much  weight 
of  worldly  wealth  the  man  may  bear,  and  how  much  will 
overcharge  him,  and  enhance  his  heart  up  so  high  that 
grace  shall  fall  from  him  low;  God  of  his  goodness,  I 
say,  preventeth  his  fall,  and  sendeth  him  tribulation  by 
time  while  he  is  yet  good,  to  gar  him  ken  his  Maker,  and 
by  less  liking  the  false  flattering  world,  set  a  cross  upon 
the  ship  of  his  heart,  and  bear  a  low  sail  thereon,  that 
the  boisterous  blast  of  pride  blow  him  not  under  the 

Some  young  lovely  lady,  lo  !  that  is  yet  good  enough, 

*  1  Joan.  i. 


another  warn-  seeth  a   storm   come   toward  her,   that 

pie  no  less        would    (if   her  health    and    her    fat    feeding 
Sj&flJSSt     should    a   little  longer  last)    strike    her  into 
some  lecherous  love,  and,  instead   of  her  old 
acquainted  knight,  lay  her  abed  with  a  new  acquainted 
knave.     But  God  loving  her  more  tenderly  than  to  suffer 
her  fall  into  such  shameful  beastly  sin,  sendeth  her  in 
season  a  goodly  fair  fervent  fever,  that  maketh  her  bones 
to  rattle,  and  wasteth  away  her  wanton  flesh,  and  beauti- 
fieth  her  fair  fell  with  the  colour  of  a  kite's  claw,  and 
maketh  her  look  so  lovely,  that  her  lover  would  have  little 
lust  to  look  upon  her,  and  make  her  also  so  lusty,  that  if 
her  lover  lay  in  her  lap,   she  should  so  sore  long  to  break 
unto  him  the  very  bottom  of  her  stomach,  that  she  should 
not  be  able  to  refrain  it  from  him,  but  suddenly  lay  it  all 
in  his  neck. 

Did  not  (as  I  before  shewed  you)  the  blessed  Apostle 
himself  confess,*  that  the  high  revolution  that  God  had 
given  him,  might  have  enhanced  him  into  such  high  pride 
that  he  might  have  caught  a  foul  fall,  had  not  the  provi 
dent  goodness  of  God  provided  for  his  remedy?  And 
what  was  his  remedy,  but  a  painful  tribulation,  so  sore 
that  he  was  fain  thrice  to  call  to  God  to  take  the  tribula 
tion  from  him  :  and  yet  would  not  God  grant  his  request, 
but  let  him  lie  so  long  therein,  till  himself,  that  saw  more 
in  St.  Paul  than  St.  Paul  saw  in  himself,  wist  well  the 
time  was  come  in  which  he  might  well  without  his  harm 
take  it  from  him.  And  thus  you  see,  good  cousin,  that 
tribulation  is  double  medicine,  both  a  cure  of  the  sin  past 
and  a  preservative  from  the  sin  that  is  to  come.  And 
therefore  in  this  kind  of  tribulation  is  there  good  occasion 
of  a  double  comfort;  but  that  is  (I  say)  dive'rsly  to  sundry 
divers  folks,  as  their  own  conscience  is  with  sin  cumbered 
or  clear.  Howbeit  I  will  advise  no  man  to  be  so  bold  as 
to  think  that  their  tribulation  is  sent  them  to  keep  them 
from  the  pride  of  their  holiness.  Let  men  leave  that  kind 
of  comfort  hardly  to  St.  Paul  till  their  living  be  like;  but 
of  the  remnant  may  men  well  take  great  comfort  and 
good  beside. 

*  2  Cor.  xit. 



Of  the  third  hind  of  Tribulation,  which  is  not  sent  a  man 
for  his  sin,  but  for  exercise  of  his  patience  and  increase 
of  his  merit,  whch  is  better  than  medicinable. 

INCENT.— THE  third  kind,  uncle,  that 
remaineth  now  behind,  that  is  to  wit,  which 
is  sent  a  man  by  God,  and  not  for  his  sin 
neither  committed  nor  which  would  else 
come,  and  therefore  is  not  medicinable  but 
sent  for  exercise  of  our  patience  and  in 
crease  of  our  merit,  and  therefore  better  than  medicinable: 
though  it  be  as  you  say,  and  as  indeed  it  is,  better  for  the 
man  than  any  of  the  other  two  kinds  in  another  world, 
where  the  reward  shall  be  received :  yet  can  I  not  see  by 
what  reason  a  man  may  in  this  world,  where  the  tribula 
tion  is  suffered,  take  any  more  comfort  therein  than  in 
any  of  the  other  twain  that  are  sent  a  man  for  his  sin ; 
sith  he  cannot  here  know  whether  it  be  sent  him  for  sin 
before  committed,  or  sin  that  else  should  fall,  or  for 
increase  of  merit  and  reward  after  to  come ;  namely,  sith 
every  man  hath  cause  enough  to  fear  and  think  that  his 
sin  already  past  hath  deserved  it,  and  that  it  is  not  with 
out  peril  a  man  to  think  otherwise. 

ANTONY. — This  that  you  say,  cousin,  hath  place  of  truth 
in  far  the  most  part  of  men,  and  therefore  must  they  not 
envy  nor  disdain  (sith  they  may  take  in  their  tribulation 
consolation  for  their  part  sufficient)  that  some  other  that 
more  be  worthy,  take  yet  a  great  deal  more.  For,  as  I 
told  you,  cousin,  though  the  best  man  must  confess 
himself  a  sinner,  yet  be  there  many  men  (though  to  the 


multitude  few)  that  for  the  kind  of  their  living,  and 
thereby  the  clearness  of  their  conscience,  may  well  and 
without  sin  have  a  good  hope  that  God  sendeth  them 
some  great  grief  for  exercise  of  their  patience,  and  for 
increase  of  their  merit ;  as  it  appeareth,  not  only  by  St. 
Paul*  in  the  place  before  remembered,  but  also  by  the 
holy  man  Job,f  which  in  sundry  places  of  his  dispicions 
with  his  burdenous  comforters  letted  not  to  say,  that  the 
clearness  of  his  own  conscience  declared  and  shewed  to 
himself  that  he  deserved  not  that  sore  tribulation  that  he 
then  had.  Howbeit,  as  I  told  you  before,  I  will  not 
advise  every  man  at  a  venture  to  be  bold  upon  this 
manner  of  comfort.  But  yet  some  men  know  I  such,  as 
I  durst  (for  their  more  ease  and  comfort  in  their  great 
and  grievous  pains)  put  them  in  right  good  hope,  that 
God  sendeth  it  unto  them  not  so  much  for  their  punish 
ment,  as  for  exercise  of  their  patience.  And  some  tribu 
lations  are  there  also  that  grow  upon  such  causes,  that  in 
these  cases  I  would  never  let,  but  always  would  without 
any  doubt  give  that  counsel  and  comfort  to  any  man. 

VINCENT. — What  causes,  good  uncle,  be  those? 
mt  causes  of       ANTONY. — Marry,  cousin,  wheresoever  a  man 

SoslSf'SS  falleth  in  tribulation  for  the  maintenance  of 
rise  of  jattcnce.  justice,  or  for  the  defence  of  God's  cause.  For 
if  I  should  hap  to  find  a  man  that  had  long  lived  a  very 
virtuous  life,  and  had  at  last  happed  to  fall  into  the  Turks' 
hands,  and  there  did  abide  by  the  truth  of  his  faith,  and 
with  the  suffering  of  all  kind  of  torments  taken  upon  his 
body,  still  did  teach  and  testify  the  truth,  if  I  should  in  his 
passion  give  him  spiritual  comfort,  might  I  be  bold  to  tell 
him  no  farther,  but  that  he  should  take  patience  in  his 
pain,  and  that  God  sendeth  it  him  for  his  sin,  and  that  he 
is  well  worthy  to  have  it  although  it  were  yet  much  more  ? 
He  might  then  well  answer  me  and  such  other  comforters, 
as  JobJ  answered  his,  Consolatores  onerosi  omnes  vos  estis, 
-—Burdenous  and  heavy  comforters  be  you.  Nay,  I  would 
not  fail  to  bid  him  boldly,  while  I  should  see  him  in  his 
passion,  cast  sin,  and  hell,  and  purgatory,  and  all  upon 
the  devil's  pate,  and  doubt  not,  but  like  as  if  he  gave  over 

*  2  Cor.  iii.  f  J'ob  v*-  xx&'  xxx'-«  £  Job  x*i. 


his  hold,  all  his  merit  were  lost,  and  he  turned  to  misery ; 
so  if  he  stand  and  persevere  still  in  the  confession  of  his 
faith,  all  his  whole  pain  shall  turn  all  into  glory. 

Yea,  more  shall  I  yet  say  than  this :  that  if  there  were 
a  Christian  man  that  had  among  those  infidels  committed 
a  very  deadly  crime,  such  as  were  worthy  death,  not  by 
their  laws  only,  but  by  Christ's  too,  as  manslaughter  or 
adultery,  or  such  other  thing  like,  if  when  he  were  taken 
he  were  offered  pardon  of  his  life,  upon  condition  that  he 
should  forsake  the  faith  of  Christ ;  if  this  man  would  now 
rather  suffer  death  than  so  do,  should  I  comfort  him  in 
his  pain  but  as  I  would  a  malefactor?  Nay,  this  man, 
though  he  should  have  died  for  his  sin,  dieth  now  for 
Christ's  sake,  while  he  might  live  still,  if  he  would  for 
sake  him.  The  bare  patient  taking  of  his 
death  should  have  served  for  satisfaction  of  his  SuP  ^ 
sin  through  the  merit  of  Christ's  passion,  I  Jj}Jfs*'J  pjfn 
mean,  without  help  of  which  no  pain  of  our  of  man  can  &« 
own  could  be  satisfactory.  But  now  shall  s 
Christ  for  his  forsaking  of  his  own  life  in  the  honour  of 
his  faith,  forgive  the  pain  of  all  his  sins  of  his  mere 
liberality,  and  accept  all  the  pain  of  his  death  for  merit 
of  reward  in  heaven,  and  shall  assign  no  part  thereof  to 
the  payment  of  his  debt  in  purgatory,  but  shall  take  it  all 
as  an  offering,  and  requite  it  all  with  glory  ;  and  this 
man  among  Christian  men,  all  had  he  been  before  a 
devil,  nothing  after  would,  I  doubt,  to  take  him  for  a 

VINCENT. — Verily,  good  uncle,  methinketh  this  is  said 
marvellously  well,  and  it  specially  delighteth  and  com- 
forteth  me  to  hear  it,  because  of  our  principal  fear  that 
I  first  spake  of,  the  Turks'  cruel  incursion  into  this  coun 
try  of  ours. 

ANTONY. — Cousin,  as  for  the  matter  of  that  fear,  I 
purpose  to  touch  last  of  all,  nor  I  meant  not  here  to 
speak  thereof,  had  it  not  been  for  that  the  vehemency  of 
your  objection  brought  it  in  my  way.  But  rather  would 
1  else  have  put  some  example  for  this  place,  of  such  as 
suffer  tribulation  for  maintenance  of  ri^ht  and  justice, 


any  manner  of  matter.     For  surely  if  a  man  may  (as  in 
deed  he  may)  have  great  comfort  in  the  clearness  of  his 
conscience,  that  hath  a  false  crime  put  upon  him,  and  by 
false  witness  proved  upon  him,  and  he  falsely  punished, 
and  put  to   worldly  shame  and  pain  therefor ; 
Sst!cetttf<m  fw   an  hundred  times  more  comfort  may  he  have 
in  his  heart,  that  where  white  is  called  black, 
and  right  is  called  wrong,  abideth  by  the  truth,  and  is 
persecuted  for  justice. 

VINCENT. — Then  if  a  man  sue  me  wrongfully  for  my 
own  land,  in  which  myself  have  good  right,  it  is  a  com 
fort  yet  to  defend  it  well,  sith  God  shall  give  me  thank 

ANTONY. — Nay,  nay,  cousin,  nay :  there  walk  you 
somewhat  wide;  for  there  you  defend  your  own  right  for 
your  temporal  avail.  And  sith  St.  Paul  counselleth,* 
Non  vosmetipsos  defendentescharissimi, — Defend  not  your 
self,  my  most  dear  friend  :  and  our  Saviour  counselled!,^ 
Si  quis  vult  tecum  judicio  contender -e,  et  tunicam  tuam 
tollere,  dimitte  ei  et  pallium, — If  a  man  will  strive  with 
thee  at  the  law,  and  take  away  thy  coat,  leave  him  thy 
gown  too  :  the  defence,  therefore,  of  our  own  right  asketh 
no  reward.  Say,  you  speed  well,  if  you  get  leave ;  look 
hardly  for  no  thank.  But,  on  the  other  side,  if  you  do  as 
St.  Paul  biddeth,J  Non  quce  sua  sunt  sinyuli  consider  antes, 
sed  ea  qucB  aliorum, — Seek  not  for  your  own  profit,  but  for 
ether  folks' ;  and  defend,  therefore,  of  pity,  a  poor  widow, 
or  a  poor  fatherless  child,  and  rather  suffer  sorrow  by 
some  strong  extortioner,  than  suffer  them  take  wrong : 
or,  if  you  be  a  judge,  and  will  have  such  zeal  to  justice 
that  you  will  rather  abide  tribulation  by  the  malice  of 
some  mighty  man,  than  judge  wrong  for  his  favour  ;  such 
tribulations,  lo !  be  those  that  are  better  than  only  medi- 
cinable,  and  every  man  upon  w?hom  they  fall  may  be 
bold  so  to  reckon  them,  and  in  his  deep  trouble  may  well 
say  to  himself  the  words  that  Christ  hath  taught  him  for 
his  comfbrt,^  Beati  misericordes,  quoniam  ipsi  misericor- 
diam  consequentur , — Blessed  be  the  merciful  men,  for 
they  shall  have  mercy  given  them  ;  Beati  qui  persecutio- 
*  Rom.xii.  t  Matth.  v.  J  Phil.  ii.  §  Matth.  v. 


item  patiuntur  propter  justitiam,  quoniam  ipsorum  est 
reynum  ccelorum, — Blessed  be  they  that  suffer  persecution 
for  justice,  for  theirs  is  the  kingdom  of  heaven.  Here  is 
an  high  comfort,  lo !  for  them  that  are  in  that  case. 
And  in  this  case  their  own  conscience  can  shew  it  them, 
and  so  may  fulfil  their  hearts  with  spiritual  joy,  that  the 
pleasure  may  far  surmount  the  heaviness  and  the  grief  of 
all  their  temporal  trouble.  But  God's  nearer  cause  of 
faith  against  the  Turks  hath  yet  a  far  passing  comfort, 
that  by  many  degrees  far  excelleth  this,  which  (as  I  have 
said)  I  purpose  to  treat  last.  And  for  this  time  this  suf- 
ticeth,  concerning  the  special  comfort  that  men  may  take 
in  this  third  kind  of  tribulation. 



Another  kind  of  Comfort  yet  in  the  base  hind  of  Tribula 
tion  sent  for  our  sin. 

INCENT.— OF  truth,  good  uncle,  albeit 
that  every  of  these  kinds  of  tribulations 
have  cause  of  comfort  in  them  as  you  have 
well  declared,  if  men  will  so  consider  them  : 
yet  hath  this  third  kind  above  all  a  special 
prerogative  therein. 
ANTONY. — That  is  undoubtedly  true;  but  yet  is  there 
not,  good  cousin,  the  most  base  kind  of  them  all,  but  that 
it  hath  more  causes  of  comfort  than  I  have  spoken  of  yet. 
For  I  have,  you  wot  well,  in  that  kind  that  is  sent  us  for 
our  sins,  spoken  of  none  other  comfort  yet  but  twain: 
that  is  to  wit,  one,  that  it  refraineth  us  from  sin  that  else 
we  would  fall  in,  and  in  that  serveth  us  through  the  merit 
of  Christ's  passion  as  a  mean  by  which  God  keepeth  us 
from  hell ;  and  serveth  for  the  satisfaction  of  such  pain, 
as  else  we  should  endure  in  purgatory.  Hovvbeit  there  is 
therein  another  great  cause  of  joy  besides  this.  For 
surely  those  pains  here  sent  us  for  our  sins,  in  whatsoever 
wise  they  happen  unto  us,  be  our  sin  never  so  sore,  nor 
never  so  open  and  evident  unto  ourself  and  all  the  world 
too;  yet  if  we  pray  for  grace  to  take  it  meekly  and  pa 
tiently,  and  confessing  to  God  that  it  is  far  over  too  little 
for  our  fault,  beseech  him  yet,  nevertheless,  that  sith  we 
shnll  come  hence  so  void  of  «11  good  works  whereof  we 
should  have  any  reward  in  heaven,  to  be  not  only  so 
merciful  to  us,  as  to  take  that  our  present  tribulation  in 
relief  of  our  pains  in  purgatory,  but  also  so  gracious  unto 
us,  as  to  take  our  patience  therein  for  a  matter  of  merit 


and  reward  in  heaven :  I  verily  trust,  and  nothing  doubt 
it,  but  that  God  shall  of  his  high  bounty  grant  us  our 
boon.  For  likewise  as  in  hell  pain  serveth  only  for 
punishment  without  any  manner  of  purging,  because  all 
possibility  of  purging  is  past;  and  in  purgatory  punish 
ment  serveth  for  only  purging,  because  the  place  of 
deserving  is  past ;  so  while  we  be  yet  in  this  world,  in 
which  is  our  place  and  our  time  of  merit  and  well  deserv 
ing,  the  tribulation  that  is  sent  us  for  our  sin  here  shall 
(if  we  faithfully  so  desire),  beside  the  cleansing  and  purg 
ing  of  our  pain,  serve  us  also  for  increase  of  reward.  And 
so  shall,  I  suppose  and  trust  in  God's  goodness,  all  such 
penance  and  good  works,  as  a  man  willingly  performeth 
enjoined  by  his  ghostly  father  in  confession,  or  which  he 
willingly  farther  doth  of  his  own  devotion  beside. 

For  though  man's  penance,  with  all  the  good  works  that 
he  can  do,  be  not  able  to  satisfy  of  themself  for  the  least 
sin  that  we  do ;  yet  the  liberal  goodness  of  God  through 
the  merit  of  Christ's  bitter  passion,  without  which  all  our 
works  could  neither  satisfy  nor  deserve,  nor  yet  do  not 
in  deed  neither  merit  nor  satisfy  so  much  as  a  spoonful 
to  a  great  vesselful,  in  comparison  of  the  merit  and  satis 
faction  that  Christ  hath  merited  and  satisfied  for  us  him 
self:  this  liberal  goodness  of  God,  I  say,  shall  yet  at  our 
faithful  instance  and  request  cause  our  penance  and  tribu 
lation,  patiently  taken  in  this  world,  to  serve  us  in  the 
other  world,  both  for  release  and  reward,  tempered  after 
such  rate  as  his  high  goodness  and  wisdom  shall  see  con 
venient  for  us,  whereof  our  blind  mortality  cannot  here 
imagine  nor  devise  the  stint.  And  thus  hath  yet  even 
the  first  kind  of  tribulation  and  the  most  base,  though  not 
fully  so  great  as  the  second,  and  very  far  less  than  the 
third,  far  greater  cause  of  comfort  yet,  than  I  spake  of 



A  certain  objection  against  the  things  aforesaid. 

INCENT.— VERILY,  good  uncle,  this  liketh 
me  very  well ;  but  yet  is  there  (ye  wot  well) 
some  of  these  things  now  brought  in 
question.  For  as  for  any  pain  due  for  our 
sin  to  be  minished  in  purgatory  by  the 
patient  sufferance  of  our  tribulation  here  ; 
there  are,  ye  wot  well,  many  that  utterly  deny  that,  and 
rana  sa?  tiies  affirm  for  a  sure  truth,  that  there  is  no  purga- 
notsoget?]  tory  at  all.  And  then  is  (if  they  say  true) 
the  cause  of  that  comfort  gone,  if  the  comfort  that 
we  should  take  be  in  vain  and  need  not.  They  say,  ye 
wot  well  also,  that  men  merit  nothing  at  all,  but  God 
giveth  all  for  faith  alone,  and  that  it  were  sin  and  sacrilege 
to  look  for  reward  in  heaven,  either  for  our  patience  and 
glad  suffering  for  God's  sake,  or  for  any  other  good  deed  ; 
and  then  is  there  gone  (if  this  be  thus)  the  other  cause  of 
our  farther  comfort  too. 

ANTONY. — Cousin,  if  some  things  were  as  they  be 
not,  then  should  some  things  be  as  they  shall  not.  I 
cannot  indeed  say  nay,  but  that  some  men  have  of  late 
brought  up  some  such  opinions,  and  many  more  than 
these  besides,  and  have  spread  them  abroad.  And, 
albeit  that  it  is  a  right  heavy  thing  to  see  such  variances 
in  our  belief  rise  and  grow  among  ourself,  to  the  great 
encouraging  of  the  common  enemies  of  us  all,  whereby 
they  have  our  faith  in  derision,  and  catch  hope  to  over 
whelm  us  all :  yet  do  these  three  things  not  a  little 
comfort  my  mind. 

The  first  is,  That  in  some  communications  had  of  late 


together,  bath  appeared  good  likelihood  of  some  good 
agreement  to  grow  together  in  one  accord  of  our  faith. 

The  second,  That  in  the  meanwhile  till  this  may  come 
to  pass,  contentious  dispicions  with  uncharitable  beha 
viour  are  prohibited  and  forbidden  in  effect  upon  all 
parts :  all  such  parts,  I  mean,  as  fell  before  to  fight  for  it. 

The  third  is,  That  all  Germany,  for  all  their  divers 
opinions,  yet  as  they  agree  together  in  profession  of 
Christ's  name,  so  agree  they  now  together  in  preparation 
of  a  common  power  in  defence  of  Christendom  against 
our  common  enemy  the  Turk.  And  I  trust  to  God  that 
this  shall  not  only  help  us  here  to  strength  us  in  this 
war,  but  also  that  as  God  hath  caused  them  to  agree 
together  in  the  defence  of  the  contrary  mind,  shall  in 
reason  have  no  cause  to  be  discontented. 

For   first,    as   for   purgatory,  though    they 
i  •    i     ,  i  i  '  •  .1  "i.    $uttjatorp. 

think  there  be  none,  yet  since  they  deny  not 

that  all  the  corps  of  Christendom  by  so  many  hundred 
years  have  believed  the  contrary ;  and  among  ^  surcst 

them    all   the    old    interpreters   of   Scripture,   flroumjann 
/•»  i         A  i»ii  st3D   in  EH 

from   the  Apostles    days  down   to  our   own  matters  of 

time,  of  whom  they  deny  not  many  for  holy  contral 
saints ;  that  I  dare  not  believe  these  men  against  all  those, 
these   men    must   of  their  courtesy  hold   my  ^oto  to(SElp 
poor  fear  excused.     And  I  beseech  our  Lord  {J*,JjDlnsj|j,a" 
heartily  for  them,  that  when  they  depart  out 
of  this  wretched  world,  they  find  no  purgatory  at  all:  so 
God  keep  them  from  hell. 

And  as  for  the  merit  of  man  in  his  good  metlt  i*  man 
works,  neither  are  they  that  deny  it  full 
agreed  among  themself,  nor  any  man  is  there  almost  of 
them  all  that,  sith  they  began  to  write,  hath  not  some 
what  changed  and  varied  from  himself;  and  for  the  more 
part  are  thus  far  agreed  with  us,  that  like  as  we  grant 
them  that  no  good  work  is  aught  worth  to  heavenward 
without  faith,  and  that  no  good  work  of  man  is  reward- 
able  in  heaven  of  his  own  nature,  but  through  the  mere 
goodness  of  God  that  list  to  set  so  high  a  price  upon  so 
poor  a  thing ;  and  that  this  price  God  setteth  through 
Christ's  passion,  and  for  that  also  that  they  be  his  own 


works  with  us  (for  good  works  to  God-ward  worketh  no 
man  without  God  work  with  him),  and  as  we  grant  them 
also  that  no  man  may  be  proud  of  his  works  for  his  own 
imperfect  working,  and  for  that  in  all  that  man  may  do, 
he  can  do  God  no  good,  but  is  a  servant  unprofitable,* 
and  doth  but  his  bare  duty ;  as  we,  I  say,  grant  unto 
them  these  things,  so  this  one  thing  or  twain  do  they 
grant  us  again,  that  men  are  bound  to  work  good  works 
if  they  have  time  and  power;  and  that  whoso  worketh 
in  true  faith  most,  shall  be  most  rewarded.  But  then  set 
they  thereto,  that  all  his  reward  shall  be  given  him  for 
his  faith  alone,  and  nothing  for  his  works  at  all,  because 
his  faith  is  the  thing  (they  say)  that  forceth  him  to  work 

Strive  will  I  not  with  them  for  this  matter  now,  but 
yet  this  I  trust  to  the  great  goodness  of  God,  that  if  the 
question  hang  on  that  narrow  point,  while  Christ  saith  in 
the  Scripture^  in  so  many  places,  that  men  shall  in 
heaven  be  rewarded  for  their  works,  he  shall  never  suffer 
our  souls  that  are  but  meari-witted  men,  and  can  under 
stand  his  words  but  as  himself  hath  set  them,  and  as 
old  holy  saints  have  construed  them  before,  and  as  all 
Christian  people  this  thousand  year  have  believed,  to  be 
damned  for  lack  of  perceiving  such  a  sharp  subtle  thing; 
specially  sith  some  men  that  have  right  good  wits,  and 
are  beside  that  right  well  learned  too,  can  in  no  wise 
perceive,  for  what  cause  or  why  these  folk  that  from  good 
works  take  away  the  reward,  and  give  the  reward  all 
whole  to  faith  alone,  give  the  reward  to  faith,  rather  than 
to  charity.  For  this  grant  they  themself,  that  faith  serv- 
eth  of  nothing  but  if  she  be  companied  with  her  sister 
charity.  And  then  saith  the  Scripture  too  :  J  Fides,  Spes, 
Charitas:  tria  hcec,  major  autem  horum  est  Charitas, — Of 
these  three  virtues,  Faith,  Hope,  and  Charity,  of  all  these 
it  (s  three  the  greatest  is  Charity, — and  therefore  as 
greater  ttian  worthy  to  have  the  thank  as  Faith.  Howbeit, 
as  I  said,  I  will  not  strive  therefor,  nor  indeed, 
as  our  matter  standeth,  I  shall  not  greatly  need.  For  if 
they  say,  that  he  which  sufTereth  tribulation  or  martyr- 
*  Lucse  x^ii.  f  Matth.  v.  J  1  Cor.  xiii. 


dom  for  the  faith,  shall  have  high  reward,  not  for  his 
work  but  for  his  well-working  faith ;  yet  sith  that  they 
grant  that  have  it  he  shall,  the  cause  of  high  comfort 
in  the  third  degree  standeth,  and  that  is,  you  wot  well, 
the  effect  of  all  my  purpose. 

VINCENT. — Verily,  good  uncle,  this  is  truly  driven  and 
tried  unto  the  uttermost,  as  it  seemeth  me.  And  there 
fore,  1  pray  you,  proceed  at  your  pleasure. 



That  a  man  ought  to  be  comfortable  to  himself,  and  have 
good  hope,  and  be  joyful  also  in  Tribulation,  appeareth 
well  by  this,  that  a  man  hath  great  cause  of  fear  and 
heaviness  that  continueth  alway  still  in  wealth,  disconti 
nued  with  no  Tribulation. 

NTONY. — COUSIN,  it  were  a  long  work  to 
peruse  every  comfort  that  a  man  may  well 
take  of  tribulation.  For  as  many  comforts 
(you  wot  well)  may  a  man  take  thereof  as 
there  be  good  commodities  therein ;  and 
that  be  there  surely  so  many,  that  it  would 

be  very  long;  to  rehearse  and  treat  of  them. 
._  *          ~,  i-iii 

But  me  seemeth  we  cannot  lightly  better  per 
ceive  what  profit  and  commodity,  and  thereby 
what  comfort  they  may  take  of  it  that  have  it,  than  if  we 
well  consider  what  harm  the  lack  is,  and  thereby  what 
discomfort  the  lack  thereof  should  be  to  them  that  never 
have  it. 

So  is  it  now,  that  all  holy  men  agree,  and  all  the 
Scripture  is  full,  and  our  own  experience  proveth  at  our 
eye,  that  we  be  not  come  into  this  wretched  world  to 
dwell  here,  nor  have  not  (as  St.  Paul  saith)*  our  dwelling 
city  here,  but  we  be  seeking  for  the  city  that  is  to  come  ; 
and  therefore  St.  Paul  sheweth  us  that  we  do  seek  for  it, 
as  they  that  are  good  folk,  and  fain  would  come  thither, 
do.  For  surely  whoso  setteth  so  little  thereby  that  he 
listeth  not  to  seek  therefor,  it  will,  I  fear  me,  be  long  ere 
he  come  thereat,  and  marvellous  great  grace  if  he  ever 
come  thither.  Sic  currite,  saith  St.  Paul,t  ut  comprehen- 
*  Heb.  xiii.  t  1  Cor.  ix. 


datis, — Run  so,  that  you  may  get  it.  If  it  must  then  be 
gotten  with  running,  when  shall  he  come  at  it  that  list 
not  once  step  toward  it?  Now  because  that  this  world  is, 
as  I  tell  you,  not  our  eternal  dwelling,  but  our  little  while 
wandering,  God  would  that  we  should  in  such  wise  use 
it,  as  folk  that  were  weary  of  it ;  and  that  we  should  in 
this  vale  of  labour,  toil,  tears,  and  misery,  not  look  for 
rest  and  ease,  game,  pleasure,  wealth,  and  felicity.  For 
they  that  so  do  fare  like  a  foul  fellow,  that  a  mn^  ^  a 
going  towards  his  own  house  where  he  should  true  compart- 
be  wealthy,  would  for  a  tapster's  pleasure  be-  s 
come  an  hostler  by  the  way  and  die  in  a  stable,  and  never 
come  at  home.  And  would  God  that  those  that  drown 
themselves  in  the  desire  of  this  world's  wretched  wealth, 
were  not  yet  more  fools  than  so  ! 

But,  alas  !  their  folly  as  far  passeth  the  foolishness  of 
that  other  fond  fellow,  as  there  is  distance  between  the 
heighth  of  heaven  and  the  very  depth  of  hell.  For  our 
Saviour  saith,  Vce  vobis  qui  ridetis  nunc,  quia  lugebitis  et 
flebitis, — Wo  may  you  be  that  laugh  now,  for  you  shall 
wail  and  weep.*  Est  tempusflcndi  (saith  the  Scripture)  et 
est  tempus  ridendi, — There  is  time  of  weeping  and  there  is 
time  of  laughing. f  But,  as  you  see,  he  setteth  the  weep 
ing  time  before ;  for  that  is  the  time  of  this  wretched 
world,  and  the  laughing  time  shall  come  after  in  heaven. 
There  is  also  a  time  of  sowing,  and  a  time  of  reaping  too. 
Now  must  we  in  this  world  sow,  that  we  may  in  the 
other  world  reap ;  and  in  this  short  sowing  time  of  this 
weeping  world,  must  we  water  our  seed  with  the  showers 
of  our  tears ;  and  then  shall  we  have  in  heaven  a  merry 
laughing  harvest  for  ever.  Euntes  ibant  et  flebant  (saith 
the  prophet)  mittentes  semina  sua, — They  went  forth  and 
sowed  their  seeds  weeping.J  But  what,  saith  he,  shall 
follow  thereof?  Venientes  autem  venient  cum  exultatione, 
portantes  manipulos  suos, — They  shall  come  again  more 
than  laughing,  with  great  joy  and  exultation,  with  their 
handfuls  of  corn  in  their  hands.  Lo,  they  that  in  their 
going  home  towards  heaven  sow  their  seed  with  weeping, 
*  Luc.  vi.  f  Eccl.  iii.  J  Psalm  cxxv. 


shall  at  the  day  of  judgment  come  to  their  bodies  again, 
with  everlasting  plenty,  laughing. 

And  for  to  prove  that  this  life  is  no  laughing  time,  but 
rather  the  time  of  weeping;  we  find  that  our  Saviour 
himself  wept  twice  or  thrice,  but  never  find  we  that  he 
laughed  so  much  as  once.  I  will  not  swear  that  he  never 
did,  but  at  the  least  wise  he  left  us  no  ensample  of  it. 
But,  on  the  other  side,  he  left  us  ensample  of  weeping.* 
Of  weeping  have  we  matter  enough,  both  for  our  own 
sins,  and  for  other  folks'  too ;  for  surely  so  should  we  do, 
bewail  their  wretched  sins,  and  not  be  glad  to  detract 
©ontfnttai  them,  nor  envy  them  neither.  Alas !  silly 
Kifwnfm  souls,  what  cause  is  there  to  envy  them  that 
cnbteo.  are  ever  wealthy  in  this  world,  and  ever  out  of 

tribulation?  which  (as  Job  saith)  ducunt  in  bonis  dies 
suoSj  et  in  puncto  ad  inferna  descendunt, — lead  all  their 
days  in  wealth,  and  in  a  moment  of  an  hour  descend  into 
their  graves,  and  be  painfully  buried  in  hell.f  St.  Paul 
saith  unto  the  Hebrews,  that  God  those  that  he  loveth, 
he  chastiseth.  Et  flagellat  omnem  filiwn  quern  recipit, — 
And  he  scourgeth  every  son  of  his  that  he  receiveth.J 
St.  Paul  saith  also,  Per  multas  tribulationes  oportet  nos 
introire  in  regnum  Dei, — By  many  tribulations  must  we 
go  into  the  kingdom  of  God.§  And  no  marvel,  for  our 
Saviour  Christ  said  so  himself  unto  his  two  disciples  that 
were  going  unto  the  castle  of  Emmaus,  An  nesciebatis, 
quid  oportebat  Christum  pati,  et  sic  introire  in  regnum 
suum  ? — Knew  you  not,  that  Christ  must  suffer,  and  so 
go  into  his  kingdom  ?||  And  would  we,  that  are  servants, 
look  for  more  privilege  in  our  Master's  house  than  our 
Master  himself?  Would  we  get  into  his  kingdom  with 
ease,  when  he  himself  got  not  into  his  own  but  by  pain  ? 
His  kingdom  hath  he  ordained  for  his  disciples,  and  he 
saith  unto  us  all,  Qui  vult  esse  meus  discipulus,  tollat 
crucem  suam,  et  sequatur  me, — If  any  man  will  be 
my  disciple,  let  him  learn  of  me  to  do  as  I  have 

*  [Our  Saviour  wept  upon  the  city  of  Jerusalem,  Luc.  xix.  Upon  La 
zarus,  John  ii.  And  in  his  passion,  Heb.  v.] 

f  Job  xxi.  J  Hebrse.  xii.  §  Act.  xiv.  ||  Lucse  xxiv. 


done,*  take  his  cross  of  tribulation  upon  his  back  and 
follow  me.  He  saith  not  here,  lo  !  let  him  laugh,  and 
make  merry. 

Now,  if  heaven  serve  but  for  Christ's  disciples,  and 
they  be  those  that  take  their  cross  of  tribulation ;  when 
shall  these  folk  come  there,  that  never  have  tribulation  ? 
And  if  it  be  true  that  St.  Paul  saith,  that  God  chastiseth 
all  them  that  he  loveth,  and  scourgeth  every  child  whom 
he  receiveth,f  and  to  heaven  shall  none  come  but  such  as 
he  loveth  and  receiveth,  when  shall  they  then  come  thither 
whom  he  never  chastiseth,  nor  never  doth  vouchsafe  to 
file  his  hands  upon  them,  nor  give  them  so  much  as  one 
lash  ?  And  if  we  cannot  (as  St.  Paul  saith  we  cannot) 
come  to  heaven  but  by  many  tribulations,;]:  how  shall  they 
come  thither  then,  that  never  have  none  at  all  ?  Thus  see 
we  well  by  the  very  Scripture  itself,  how  true  the  words 
are  of  old  holy  saints,  that  with  one  voice  in  a  manner 
say  all  one  thing,  that  is  to  wit,  that  we  shall  not  have 
both  continual  wealth  in  this  world  and  in  the  other  too. 
And  therefore,  sith  they  that  in  this  world  without  any 
tribulation  enjoy  their  long  continual  course  of  never  in 
terrupted  prosperity,  have  a  great  cause  of  fear  and  dis 
comfort  lest  they  be  far  fallen  out  of  God's  favour,  and 
stand  deep  in  his  indignation  and  displeasure,  while  he 
never  sendeth  them  tribulation,  which  he  is  ever  wont  to 
send  them  whom  he  loveth ;  they  therefore,  I  say,  that 
are  in  tribulation,  have  on  the  other  side  a  great  cause 
to  take  in  their  grief  great  inward  comfort  and  spiritual 

*  Matth.  xvi.     [Luke.]  f  Heb.  xii.  £  Act.  xiv. 



A  certain  objection,  and  the  answer  thereto. 

INCENT. — VERILY,  good  uncle,  this  seem- 
eth  so,  indeed.  Howbeit,  yet,  methink 
you  say  very  sore  in  some  things  concern 
ing  such  persons  as  are  in  continual  pros 
perity  ;  and  they  be,  you  wot  well,  not  a 
few,  and  those  are  they  also  that  have  the 
rule  and  authority  of  this  world  in  their  hand.  And  I 
wot  well,  that  when  they  talk  with  such  great  cunning 
men,  as  can  (I  trow)  tell  the  truth ;  and  when  they  ask 
them  whether  (while  they  make  merry  here  in  earth  all 
their  life)  they  may  not  yet  for  all  that  have  heaven  after 
too  ;  they  do  tell  them,  yes,  yes,  well  enough :  for  I  have 
heard  them  tell  them  so  myself. 

ANTONY. — I  suppose,  good  cousin,  that  no  very  wise 
man,  and  specially  none  that  very  good  is  therewith,  will 
tell  any  man  fully  of  that  fashion.  But  surely  such  as 
so  say  to  them,  I  fear  me  that  they  flatter 
them,  either  for  lucre  or  fear.  Some  of  them  a 
think  peradventure  thus : — This  man  maketh  much  of 
me  now,  and  giveth  me  money  also  to  fast,  and  watch, 
and  pray  for  him ;  but  so  I  fear  me  would  he  do  no  more, 
if  I  should  go  tell  him  now,  that  all  that  I  do  for  him  will 
not  serve  him,  but  if  he  go  fast,  and  watch,  and  pray  for 
himself  too.  For  if  I  should  see  thereto  and  say  farther, 
that  my  diligent  intercession  for  him  should  (I  trust)  be 
the  mean  that  God  should  the  sooner  give  him  grace  to 
amend,  and  fast,  and  watch,  and  pray,  and  take  affliction 
in  his  own  body  for  the  bettering  of  his  sinful  soul,  he 
would  be  wondrous  wroth  with  that.  For  he  would  be 


loth  to  have  any  such  grace  at  all  as  should  make  him  go 
leave  off  any  of  his  mirth,  and  so  sit  and  mourn  for  his 
sin.  Such  mind  as  this,  lo  !  have  there  some 
of  those  that  are  not  unlearned,  and  have 
worldly  wit  at  will,  which  tell  great  men  such 
tales  as  perilously  beguile  them,  rather  than  the  flatterer 
that  so  telleth  them  would  with  a  true  tale  jeopard  to  leese 
his  lucre. 

Some  are  there  also  that  such  tales  tell  them  for  con 
sideration  of  another  fear.  For  seeing  the  man  so  sore 
set  on  his  pleasure  that  they  despair  any  amendment  of 
him  whatsoever  they  should  shew  him,  and  then  seeing 
also  beside  that  the  man  doth  no  great  harm,  but  of  a 
gentle  nature  doth  some  good  men  some  good ;  they  pray 
God  themself  to  send  him  grace,  and  so  they  let  him  lie 
lame  still  in  his  fleshly  lusts  ad  probaticam  piscinam,  eoopec- 
tantes  aquce  mo  turn,*  at  the  pool  that  the  Gospel  speaketh 
of  beside  the  Temple,  wherein  they  washed  the  sheep  for 
the  sacrifice,  and  they  tarry  to  see  the  water  stirred.  And 
when  his  good  angel  coming  from  God  shall  once  begin 
to  stir  the  water  of  his  heart,  and  move  him  to  the  lowly 
meekness  of  a  simple  sheep,  then  if  he  call  them  to 
him  they  will  tell  him  another  tale,  and  help  to  bear  him 
and  plunge  him  into  the  pool  of  penance  over  the  hard 
ears.  But  in  the  meanwhile,  for  fear  lest  when  he  would 
wax  never  the  better  he  would  wax  much  the  worse,  and 
from  gentle,  forsooth,  sweet,  and  courteous,  wax  angry, 
rough,  froward,  and  sour,  and  thereupon  be  troublous  and 
tedious  to  the  world ;  to  make  fair  weather  withal,  they 
give  him  fair  words  for  the  while,  and  put  him  in  good 
comfort,  and  let  him  for  the  remanent  stand  at  his  own 
adventure.  And  in  such  wise  deal  they  with  him  as  the 
mother  doth  sometime  with  her  child,  which,  when  the 
little  boy  will  not  rise  in  time  for  her,  but  lie  still  a-bed 
and  slug,  and  when  he  is  up  weepeth  because  he  hath 
lain  so  long,  fearing  to  be  beaten  at  school  for  his  late 
coming  thither ;  she  telleth  him  then  that  it  is  but  early 
days,  and  he  shall  come  time  enough,  and  biddeth  him 
go,  good  son,  I  warrant  thee,  I  have  sent  to  thy  master 
*  Joan.  v. 


myself,  take  thy  bread  and  butter  with  thee,  thou  shalt 
not  be  beaten  at  all.  And  thus  (so  she  may  send  him 
merry  forth  at  the  door,  that  he  weep  not  in  her  sight  at 
home)  she  studieth  not  much  upon  the  matter,  though  he 
be  taken  tardy,  and  beaten  when  he  cometh  to  school. 
Surely  thus,  I  fear  me,  fare  there  many  friars  and  States' 
chaplains  too,  in  comfort  giving  to  great  men  when  they 
be  loth  to  displease  them.  1  cannot  commend  their  thus 
doing,  but  surely  I  fear  me  thus  they  do. 



Other  objections. 

INCENT. — BUT  yet,  good  uncle,  though 
some  do  thus,  this  answereth  not  full  the 
matter.  For  we  see  that  the  whole  Church 
in  the  Common  Service  useth  divers  col 
lects,  in  which  all  men  pray  specially  for 
the  princes  and  the  prelates,  and  generally 
every  man  for  other,  and  for  himself  too,  that  God  would 
vouchsafe  to  send  them  all  perpetual  health  and  pros 
perity.  And  I  can  see  no  good  man  pray  God  send 
another  sorrow,  nor  no  such  prayers  are  put  in  the  priest's 
portasse,  as  far  as  I  can  hear. 

And  yet  if  it  were  as  you  say,  good  uncle,  that  per 
petual  prosperity  were  to  the  soul  so  perilous,  and  tribu 
lation  thereto  so  fruitful ;  then  were  (as  me  seemeth) 
every  man  bounden  of  charity,  not  only  to  pray  God  send 
their  neighbour  sorrow,  but  also  to  help  thereto  themself. 
And  when  folk  are  sick,  not  pray  God  send  them  health, 
but  when  they  come  to  comfort  them  they  should  say, 
I  am  glad,  good  gossip,  that  you  be  so  sick,  I  pray  God 
keep  you  long  therein.  And  neither  should  any  man 
give  any  medicine  to  another,  nor  take  any  medicine 
himself  neither ;  for  by  the  minishing  of  the  tribulation, 
he  taketh  away  part  of  the  profit  from  his  soul,  which 
can  with  no  bodily  profit  be  sufficiently  recompensed. 

And  also  this  wot  you  well,  good  uncle,  that  we  read 
in  holy  Scripture  of  men  that  were  wealthy  and  rich,  and 
yet  were  good  withal.*  Solomon  was,  you  wot  well,  the 

*  2  Keg.  x. 


richest  and  the  most  wealthy  king  that  any  man  could  in 
his  time  tell  of,  and  yet  was  he  well-beloved  with  God. 
Job  was  also  no  beggar  perdie,  nor  no  wretch  otherwise, 
nor  lost  his  riches  and  his  wealth,  for  that  God  would  not 
that  his  friend  should  have  wealth,  but  for  the  show  of 
his  patience,  to  the  increase  of  his  merit,  and  confusion 
of  the  devil.  And  for  proof  that  prosperity  may  stand 
with  God's  favour,  Reddidit  Deus  Job  omnia  duplicia ; — 
God  restored  him  double  of  all  that  ever  he  lost,  and 
gave  him  after  long  life  to  take  his  pleasure  long.* 

Abraham  was  eke,  you  wot  well,  a  man  of  great  sub 
stance,  and  so  continued  all  his  life  in  honour  and  in 
wealth ;  *f*  yea,  and  when  he  died,  too,  he  went  into 
such  wealth  that  Lazarus,  which  died  in  tribulation  and 
poverty,  the  best  place  that  he  came  to,  was  that  rich 
man's  bosom.  J  Finally,  good  uncle,  this  we  find  at  our 
age,  and  every  day  we  prove  it  by  plain  experience,  that 
many  a  man  is  right  wealthy,  and  yet  therewith  right 
good,  and  many  a  miserable  wretch  as  evil  as  he  is 
wretched.  And  therefore  it  seemeth  hard,  good  uncle, 
that  between  prosperity  and  tribulation  the  matter  should 
go  thus,  that  tribulation  should  be  given  alway  by  God 
to  those  that  he  loveth  for  a  sign  of  salvation,  and  pros 
perity  sent  for  displeasure  as  a  token  of  eternal  damna 

*  Job  xlii.  f  Gen.  xiii.  +  Luc.  xvi. 



The  answer  to  the  objections. 

NTONY. — EITHER  I  said  not,  cousin,  or 
else  meant  I  not  to  say,  that  for  an  un 
doubted  rule  worldly  prosperity  were  alway 
displeasant  to  God,  or  tribulation  evermore 
wholesome  to  every  man.  For  well  wot  I, 
that  our  Lord  giveth  in  this  world  unto  either 
sort  of  folk,  either  sort  of  fortune.  Et  facit  solem  suum 
oriri  super  bonos  et  malos,  et  pluit  super  justos  et  injustos ; 
— He  maketh  his  sun  to  shine  both  upon  the  good  and 
the  bad,  and  his  rain  to  rain  both  on  the  just  and  the 
unjust.*  And  on  the  other  side,  Flagellat  omnem  filium 
quern  recipit ; — He  scourgeth  every  son  that  he  receiveth.i- 
And  yet  he  beateth  not  only  good  folk  that  he  loveth, 
but  Multaflagellapeccatoris  too, — There  are  many  scourges 
for  sinners  also.J  He  giveth  evil  folk  good  fortune  in  this 
world,  both  to  call  them  by  kindness,  and  if  they  thereby 
come  not,  the  more  is  their  unkindness ;  and  yet  where 
wealth  will  not  bring  them,  he  giveth  them  sometime  sor 
row.  And  some  that  in  prosperity  cannot  to  God  creep 
forward,  in  tribulation  toward  him  they  run  apace.  Mul- 
tiplicatfs  sunt  infirmitates  eorum,  postea  acceleraverunt ; — 
Their  infirmities  were  multiplied  (saith  the  prophet)  and 
after  that  they  made  haste.§ 

To  some  that  are  good  men  God  sendeth  wealth  here 
also,  and  they  give  him  great  thank  for  his  gift,  and  he 
rewardeth  them  for  the  thank  too.  To  some  good  folk 

*  Matth.  y.  f  Hebrae.  xii.  J  Psal.  xxxii.  §  Psal.  XY. 

E    2 


he  sendeth  sorrow,  and  they  thank  him  thereof  too.  If 
God  should  give  the  goods  of  this  world  only  to  evil  folk, 
then  would  men  ween  that  God  were  not  the  Lord  thereof. 
If  God  would  give  the  goods  only  to  good  men,  then 
would  folk  take  occasion  to  serve  him  but  for  them. 
Some  will  in  wealth  fall  into  folly.  Homo  cum  in  honore 
esset,  non  intellexit :  comparatus  estjumentis  insipientibus, 
et  similis  factus  est  illis ; — When  man  was  in  honour  his 
understanding  failed  him;  then  was  he  compared  with 
beasts,  and  made  like  unto  them.*  Some  man  with  tri 
bulation  will  fall  into  sin,  and  therefore,  saith  the  pro 
phet:  Non  relinquet  Dominus  virgam  peccatorum  super 
sortem  justorum,  ut  non  extendant  justi  ad  iniquitatem 
manus  suas ; — God  will  not  leave  the  rod  of  wicked  men 
upon  the  lot  of  righteous  men,  lest  the  righteous  perad- 
venture  hap  to  extend  and  stretch  out  their  hands  to  ini 
quity  .f  So  say  I  not  nay,  but  that  in  either  state,  wealth 
or  tribulation  may  be  matter  of  virtue  and  matter  of  vice 
also :  but  this  is  the  point,  lo  !  that  standeth  here  in  ques 
tion  between  you  and  me ;  not  whether  every  prosperity 
be  a  perilous  token,  but  whether  continual  wealth  in  this 
•world  without  any  tribulation  be  a  fearful  sign  of  God's 
indignation.  And  therefore  this  mark  that  we  must  shoot 
at,  set  up  well  in  our  sight,  we  shall  now  mete  for  the 
shot,  and  consider  how  near  toward,  or  how  far  off,  your 
arrows  are  from  the  prick. 

VINCENT. — Some  of  my  bolts,  uncle,  will  I  now  take  up 
myself,  and  prettily  put  them  under  my  belt  again.  For 
some  of  them,  I  see  well,  be  not  worth  the  meting ;  and 
no  great  marvel,  though  I  shoot  wide,  while  I  somewhat 
mistake  the  mark. 

ANTONY. — Those  that  make  toward  the  mark  and  light 
far  too  short,  when  the  shot  is  mete  shall  I  take  up  for 

1.  To  prove  that  perpetual  wealth  should  be  no  evil 
token,  you  lay  first,  that  for  princes  arid  prelates,  and 
every  man  for  other,  we  pray  all  for  perpetual  prosperity, 
and  that  in  the  common  prayers  of  the  Church  too. 
*  Psal.  xlviii.  t  Psal.  cxxiv. 


2.  Then  say  you,  secondly,  that  if  prosperity  were  so 
perilous,  and  tribulation  so  profitable,  every  man  ought 
then  to  pray  God  to  send  other  sorrow. 

3.  Thirdly,  you  furnish  your  objections  with  ensani- 
ples  of  Solomon,  Job,  and  Abraham. 

4.  And,  fourthly,  in  the  end  of  all,  you  prove  by  ex 
perience  of  our  own  time  daily  before  our  face,  that  some 
wealthy  folk   are  good,    and   some   needy  very  naught. 
That  last  bolt  I  think,  lo  !  that  sith  I  say  the  same  my 
self,  you  be  content  to  take  up,  it  lieth  so  far  wide. 

VINCENT. — That  will  I  with  a  good  will,  uncle. 

ANTONY. — Well,  do  so  then,  good  cousin,  and  we  shall 
mete  for  the  remnant.  First  must  you,  cousin,  be  sure 
that  you  look  well  to  the  mark,  and  that  can  you  not  do, 
but  if  you  know  what  thing  tribulation  is.  For  sith  that 
it  is  one  of  the  chief  things  that  we  principally  speak  of, 
but  if  you  consider  well  what  that  is,  you  may  miss  the 
mark  again.  I  suppose  now,  that  you  will  ^m^t  W6u> 
agree,  that  tribulation  is  every  such  thing  as  lation  is- 
troubleth  and  grieveth  a  man,  either  in  body  or  mind, 
and  is,  as  it  were,  the  prick  of  a  thorn,  a  bramble,  or  a 
brier  thrust  into  his  flesh,  or  into  his  mind.  And  surely, 
cousin,  the  prick  that  very  sore  pricketh  the  mind,  as  far 
almost  passeth  in  pain  the  grief  that  paineth  the  body, 
as  doth  a  thorn  that  is  sticking  in  the  heart  pass  and 
exceed  in  pain  the  thorn  that  is  thrust  in  the  heel.  Now, 
cousin,  if  tribulation  be  this  that  I  call  it,  then  shall  you 
soon  consider  this,  that  there  be  more  kinds  of  tribula 
tion  than  you  peradventure  thought  on  before.  And 
thereupon  it  followeth  also,  that  sith  every  kind  of  tribu 
lation  is  an  interruption  of  wealth,  and  prosperity  (which 
is  but  of  wealth  another  name)  may  be  discontinued  by 
more  ways  than  you  would  afore  have  weened ;  then  say 
I  thus  unto  you,  cousin,  that  sith  tribulation  is  not  only- 
such  pangs  as  pain  the  body,  but  every  trouble  also  that 
grieveth  the  mind,  many  good  men  have  many  tribula 
tions  that  every  man  marketh  not,  and  consequently  their 
wealth  interrupted  therewith,  when  other  men  are  not 
ware.  For  trow  you,  cousin,  that  the  temptations  of  the 
devil,  the  world  and  the  flesh,  soliciting  the  mind  of  a 


good  man  unto  sin,  is  not  a  great  inward  trouble  and 
secret  grief  to  his  heart  ? 

To  such  wretches  as  care  not  for  their  conscience,  but 
like  unreasonable  beasts,  follow  their  foul  affections,  many 
of  these  temptations  be  no  trouble  at  all,  but  matter  of 
their  bodily  pleasure.  But  unto  him,  cousin,  that  stand- 
eth  in  dread  of  God,  the  tribulation  of  temptation  is  so 
painful,  that  to  be  rid  thereof,  or  sure  of  the  victory 
therein  (be  his  substance  never  so  great)  he  would  gladly 
give  more  than  half.  Now,  if  he  that  careth  not  for  God 
think  this  trouble  but  a  trifle,  and  with  such  tribulation, 
prosperity  not  interrupted;  let  him  cast  in  his  mind,  if 
himself  hap  upon  a  fervent  longing  for  the  thing  which  get 
he  cannot  (and  as  a  good  man  will  not),  as  per  case  his 
pleasure  of  some  certain  good  woman  that  will  not  be 
naught,  and  then  let  him  tell  me  whether  the  ruffle  of  his 
desire  shall  so  torment  his  mind,  as  all  the  pleasures  that 
he  can  take  beside  shall,  for  lack  of  that  one,  not  please 
him  of  a  pin.  And  I  dare  be  bold  to  warrant  him  that 
the  pain  in  resisting,  and  the  great  fear  of  falling,  that 
many  a  good  man  hath  in  his  temptation,  is  an  anguish 
and  a  grief  every  deal  as  great  as  his. 

Now  say  I  farther,  cousin,  that  if  this  be  true,  as  in 
very  deed  true  it  is,  that  such  trouble  is  tribulation,  and 
thereby  consequently  an  interruption  of  prosperous 
wealth ;  no  man  precisely  meaneth  to  pray  for  other  to 
keep  him  in  continual  prosperity  without  any  manner  of 
discontinuance  or  change  in  this  world.  For  that  prayer, 
without  other  condition  added  or  implied,  were  inordinate, 
and  were  very  childish.  For  it  were  to  pray,  that  either 
they  should  never  have  temptation ;  or  else,  that  if  they 
had,  they  might  follow  it  and  fulfil  their  affection.  Who- 
dare,  good  cousin,  for  shame,  or  for  sin,  for  himself,  or 
for  any  man  else,  make  this  manner  kind  of  prayer? 
Besides  this,  cousin,  the  Church,  you  wot  well,  adviseth 
every  man  to  fast,  and  watch,  and  pray,  both  for  taming 
of  his  fleshly  lusts,  and  also  to  mourn  and  lament  for  his 
sin  before  committed,  and  to  bewail  his  offences  done 
against  God,  and  (as  they  did  at  the  city  of  Nineveh,*  and 

*  Jonse  iii. 


as  the  prophet  David  did,*  for  their  sin)  put  affliction  to 
their  flesh.  And  when  a  man  so  doth,  cousin,  is  this  no 
tribulation  to  him  because  he  doth  it  himself?  For  I  wot 
well  you  would  agree  that  it  were,  if  another  man  did  it 
against  his  will.  Then  is  tribulation,  you  wot  well,  tribu 
lation  still,  though  it  be  taken  well  in  worth;  yea,  and 
though  it  be  taken  to  with  very  right  good  will,  yet  is 
pain,  you  wot  well,  pain,  and  therefore  so  is  it  though  a 
man  do  it  himself.  Then,  sith  the  Church  adviseth  every 
man  to  take  tribulation  for  his  sin;  whatsoever  words 
you  find  in  any  prayer,  they  never  mean  (you  may  be 
fast  and  sure)  to  pray  God  to  keep  every  good  man,  nor 
every  bad  man  neither,  from  every  manner  kind  of  tribu 

Now  he  that  is  not  in  some  kind  of  tribulation,  as 
peradventure  in  sickness  or  in  loss  of  goods,  is  not  yet 
out  of  tribulation,  if  he  have  his  ease  of  body  or  of  mind 
unquieted,  and  thereby  his  wealth  interrupted  with 
another  kind  of  tribulation,  as  is  either  temptation  to  a 
good  man,  or  voluntary  affliction,  either  of  body  by 
penance,  or  of  mind  by  contrition  and  heaviness  for  his 
sin  and  offence  against  God.  And  thus,  I  say,  that  for 
precise  perpetual  wealth  and  prosperity  in  this  world,  that 
is  to  say,  for  the  perpetual  lack  of  all  trouble  and  all 
tribulation,  there  is  no  wise  man  that  either  prayeth  for 
himself  or  for  any  man  else.  And  thus  answer  I  your 
first  objection. 

Now,  before  I  meddle  with  your  second,  your  third  will 
I  join  to  this.  For  upon  this  answer  will  the  solution  of 
your  ensamples  conveniently  depend.  As  for  Solomon 
was,f  as  you  say,  all  his  days  a  marvellous  wealthy  king, 
and  much  was  he  beloved  with  God,  I  wot  well,  in  the 
beginning  of  his  reign ;  but  that  the  favour  of  God  per 
severed  with  him,  as  his  prosperity  did,  that  cannot  I  tell. 
And  therefore  will  I  not  warrant  it;  but  surely  we  see  that 
his  continual  wealth  made  him  fall,  first  into  such  wan 
ton  folly  in  multiplying  wives  to  an  horrible  number,J 
contrary  to  the  commandment  of  God  given  in  the  law  of 
Moses ;  and  secondly,  taking  to  wife  among  other  such 
*  2  Reg.  xii.  et  xxiv.  f  2  Reg.  x.  J  Reg.  xi. 


as  were  infidels,  contrary  to  another  commandment  of 
God's  written  law  also ;  that  finally,  by  the  mean  of  his 
miscreant  wife,  he  fell  into  maintenance  of  idolatry  him 
self;  and  of  this  find  we  no  amendment  or  repentance, 
as  we  find  of  his  father.  And  therefore,  though  he  were 
buried  where  his  father  was,  yet  whether  he  went  to  the 
rest  that  his  father  did,  through  some  secret  sorrow  for 
his  sin  at  last,  that  is  to  say,  by  some  kind  of  tribulation, 
I  cannot  tell,  and  am  content  therefore  to  trust  well,  and 
pray  God  he  did  so,  but  surely  we  be  not  sure.  And 
therefore  the  ensample  of  Solomon  can  very  little  serve 
you ;  for  you  might  as  well  lay  it  for  a  proof  that  God 
favoureth  idolatry,  as  that  he  favoureth  prosperity;  for 
Solomon  was,  you  wot  well,  in  both. 

As  for  Job,  sith  our  question  bangeth  upon  prosperity 
perpetual,*  the  wealth  of  Job  that  was  with  so  great  adver 
sity  so  sore  interrupted,  can  (as  yourself  seeth)  serve  you 
for  no  ensample.  And  that  God  gave  him  here  in  this 
world  all  thing  double  that  he  lost,  little  toucheth  my 
matter,  which  deny  not  prosperity  to  be  God's  gift,  and 
given  to  some  good  men  too,  namely,  such  as  have  tribu 
lation  too.  But  in  Abraham,  cousin,  I  suppose  is  all  your 
chief  hold,  because  that  you  not  only  shew  riches  and 
prosperity  perpetual  in  him  through  the  course  of  all  his 
whole  life  in  this  world,  but  that  after  his  death  also, 
Lazar,~j-  the  poor  man  that  lived  in  tribulation,  and  died 
from  pure  hunger  and  thirst,  had  after  his  death  his  place 
of  comfort  and  rest  in  Abraham,  the  wealthy,  rich  man's 
bosom.  But  here  must  you  consider,  that  Abraham  had 
not  such  continual  prosperity,  but  that  it  was  discontinued 
with  divers  tribulations. 

1.  Was  it  nothing  to  him,  trow  you,  to  leave  his  own 
country,  and  at  God's  sending,  J  to  go  into  a  strange  land, 
which  God  promised  him  and  his  seed  for  ever,  but  in  all 
his  whole  life  he  gave  himself  never  a  foot  ? 

2.  Was  it  no  trouble  that  his  cousin  Loth  and  himself 
were  fain  to  part  company,^  because  their  servants  could 
not  agree  together  ? 

3.  Though  he  recovered  Loth  again  from   the  three 

*  Job  xlii.  f  [Luc.  xvi.]  J  Gen.  xii.  §  Gen.  xiii. 


kings,*  was  his  taking  no  trouble  to  him,  trow  you,  in 
the  meanwhile? 

4.  Was  the  destruction  of  the  five  cities-}-  no  heaviness 
to  his  heart  ?    A  man  would  ween  yes,  that  readeth  in  the 
story  what  labour  he  made  to  save  them. 

5.  His  heart  was,  I  dare  say,  in  no  little  sorrow,  when 
he  was  fain  to  let  Abimelech,  the  king,  have  his  wife,J 
whom   (though    God    provided    to    keep   undefiled    and 
turned  all  to  wealth),  yet  was  it  no  little  woe  to  him  in 
the  meantime. 

6.  What  continual  grief  was  it  to  his  heart  many  a 
long  day,  that  he  had  no  child  of  his  own  body  begotten  :§ 
he  that  doubteth  thereof  shall  find  it  in  Genesis  of  his 
own  moan  made  to  God. 

7.  No  man  doubteth  but  Ismael  was  great  comfort  unto 
him  at  his  birth  :  ||  and  was  it  no  grief  then,  when  he 
must  cast  out  the  mother  and  the  child  both? 

8.  Isaac,  that  was  the  child  of  promission,  although 
God  kept  his  life  that  was  unlooked  for;  yet,  while  the 
loving-  father  bound  him,  and  went  about  to  behead  him, 
and  offer  him  up  in  sacrifice  :  ^j  who  but  himself  can  con 
ceive  what  heaviness  his  heart  had  then?     I  would  ween 
in  my  mind  (because  you  speak  of  Lazar)  that  Lazar's 
own  death  panged  him  not  so  sore.     Then,  as  Lazarus's 
pain  was  patiently  borne,  so  was  Abraham's  taken  not 
only  patiently,  but  (which  is  a  thing  much  more  merito 
rious)  of  obedience,    willingly.     And    therefore,  though 
Abraham  had  not  (as  he  did,  indeed)  far  excelled  Lazar 
in   merit  of  reward  for  many  other  things  beside,  and 
specially  for  that  he  was  a  special  patriarch  of  the  faith, 
yet  had  he  far  passed  him  even  by  the  merit  of  tribula 
tion,  well  taken  here  for  God's  sake  too.     And  so  serveth 
for  your  purpose  no  man  less  than  Abraham. 

But  now,  good  cousin,  let  us  look  a  little  longer  here 
upon  the  rich  Abraham  and  Lazar  the  poor,  and  as  we 
shall  see  Lazar  set  in  wealth  somewhat  under  the  rich 
Abraham,  so  shall  we  see  another  rich  man  lie  full  low 
beneath  Lazar,  crying  and  calling  out  of  his  fiery  couch 

*  Gen.  xiv.  t  Gen.  xv.  J  Gen.  xx. 

§  Gen.  xv.  ||  Gen,  xvi.  and  xxi.  fl  Gen.  xxii. 


that  Lazar  might  with  a  drop  of  water  falling  from  his 
finger's   end,    a   little   cool   and   refresh   the  tip   of  his 
burning    tongue.      Consider    well    now   what   Abraham 
answered  to  the  rich  wretch  :*  Fill,  recordare  quia  re- 
cepisti  bona  in  vita  tua,  et  Lazarus  similiter  mala :  nunc 
autem  hie  consolatur,  tu  vero  cruciaris ; — Son,  remember 
that  thou  hast  in  thy  life  received  wealth,  and  Lazar  in 
likewise  pain;  but  now  receiveth  he  comfort,  and  thou 
sorrow,  pain,  and  torment.     Christ  describeth  his  wealth 
and   his   prosperity,  gay   and    soft   apparel,   with   royal 
delicate  fare,  continually  day  by  day.     Epulabatur  (saith 
our   Saviour)   quotidie  splendide ; — He  did   fare   royally 
every  day.f     His  wealth  was  continual,  lo  !  no  time  of 
tribulation  between.     And  Abraham  telleth  him  the  same 
tale,  that  he  had  taken  his   wealth  in  this  world,  and 
Lazarus   likewise   his   pain :    and    that    they   had    now 
changed  each   to  the  clean  contrary :   poor  Lazar  from 
tribulation  into  wealth,  and  the  rich  man  from  his  con 
tinual   prosperity   into   perpetual   pain.     Here   was   laid 
expressly  to  Lazar  no  very  great  virtue  by  name,  nor  to 
this  rich  glutton  no  great  heinous  crime,  but  the  taking 
of  his  continual  ease  and  pleasure  without  any  tribulation 
or   grief,  whereof  grew   sloth  and    negligence  to  think 
upon  the  poor  man's  pain.     For  that  ever  himself  saw 
Lazarus,  and  wist  him  die  for  hunger  at  his  door,  that 
laid  neither   Christ   nor  Abraham  to  his  charge.     And 
therefore,  cousin,  this  story,  lo !  of  which  by  occasion  of 
Abraham  and  Lazar  you  put  me  in  remembrance,  well 
declareth  what  peril  is  in  continual  worldly  wealth,  and 
contrariwise  what  comfort  cometh   of  tribulation.     And 
thus  as  your  other  ensamples  of  Solomon  and  Job  nothing 
for  the  matter  further   you;    so  your  ensample  of  rich 
Abraham  and  poor  Lazarus  hath  not  a  little  hindered 


*  Luc.  xvi.  f  Ibidem. 




An  answer  to  the  second  objection. 

INCENT. — SURELY,  uncle,  you  have  shaken 
mine  ensamples  sore,  and  have  in  your 
meting  of  your  shot  moved  me  these  ar 
rows,  methinketh,  farther  off  from  the 
prick  than  methought  they  stack  when  I 
shot  them.  And  I  shall  therefore  now  be 
content  to  take  them  up  again.  But  yet  me  seemeth 
surely,  that  my  second  shot  may  stand.  For  of  truth,  if 
every  kind  of  tribulation  be  so  profitable,  that  it  be  good 
to  have  it,  as  you  say  it  is :  I  cannot  see  wherefore  any 
man  should  either  wish  or  pray,  or  any  manner  of  thing 
do,  to  have  any  kind  of  tribulation  withdrawn,  either 
from  himself  or  any  friend  of  his. 

ANTONY. — I  think  in  very  deed  tribulation  so  good 
and  profitable,  that  I  should  haply  doubt  as  you  do 
wherefore  a  man  might  labour  or  pray  to  be  delivered  of 
it,  saving  that  God  which  teacheth  us  the  one,  teacheth 
us  also  the  other.  And  as  he  biddeth  us  take  our  pain 
patiently,  and  exhort  our  neighbours  to  do  also  the  same  : 
so  biddeth  he  us  also  not  let  to  do  our  devoir,  to  remove 
the  pain  from  us  both.  And  then  when  it  is  God  that 
teacheth  both,  I  shall  not  need  to  break  my  brain  in 
devising  wherefore  he  would  bid  us  do  both,  the  one 
seeming  to  resist  the  other.  If  he  send  the  scourge  of 
scarcity  and  of  great  famine,  he  will  we  shall  bear  it 
patiently ;  but  yet  will  he  that  we  shall  eat  our  meat 
when  we  can  hap  to  get  it.  If  he  send  us  the  plague 
of  pestilence,  he  will  that  we  shall  patiently  take  it ;  but 


yet  will  he  that  we  let  us  blood,  and  lay  plasters  to  draw 
it,  and  ripe  it,  and  lance  it,  and  get  it  away.  Both  these 
points  teacheth  God  in  Scripture  in  more  than  many 
places.  Fasting  is  better  than  eating,  and  more  thank 
hath  of  God ;  and  yet  will  God  that  we  shall  eat.  Pray 
ing  is  better  than  drinking,  and  much  more  pleasant  to 
God ;  and  yet  will  God  that  we  shall  drink.  Waking  in 
good  business  is  much  more  acceptable  to  God  than 
sleeping ;  and  yet  will  God  that  we  shall  sleep. 

God  hath  given  us  our  bodies  here  to  keep, 
Cfte  reason  j       -n      i  •    ,    •        i  i      «• 

tofjp  tonup        and  will  that  we   maintain  them  to  do  him 

SIMMS™*  service  with,  till  he  send  for  us  hence.  Now 
a«  to  tie  tem-  can  we  not  tell  surely  how  much  tribulation 
may  mar  it,  or  peradventure  hurt  the  soul  also  ? 
Wherefore  the  apostle,  after  that  he  had  commanded  the 
Corinthians  to  deliver  to  the  devil  the  abominable  forni- 
cator  that  forbare  not  the  bed  of  his  own  father's  wife  :* 
yet  after  that  he  had  been  awhile  accursed  and  punished 
for  his  sin,  the  apostle  commanded  them  charitably  to 
receive  him  again  and  give  him  consolation.  Ne  forte 
abundantiori  tristitia  absorbeatur ; — Lest  peradventure  the 
greatness  of  his  sorrow  should  swallow  him  up.f  And 
therefore  when  God  sendeth  the  tempest,  he  will  that  the 
shipmen  shall  get  them  to  their  tackling,  and  do  the  best 
they  can  for  themself,  that  the  seas  eat  them  not  up. 
For  help  ourselves  as  well  as  we  can,  he  can  make  his 
plague  as  sore,  and  as  long  lasting,  as  himself  list.  And 
as  he  will  that  we  do  for  ourselfj  so  will  he  that  we  do 
for  our  neighbours  too :  and  that  we  shall  be  in  this 
world  each  to  other  piteous,  and  not  sine  affectione,  for 
which  the  apostle  rebuketh  them  that  lack  their  tender 
affections  here  :  so  that  of  charity  sorry  should  we  be  for 
their  pain  too,  upon  whom  (for  cause  necessary)  we  be 
driven  ourself  to  put  it.  And  whoso  saith,  that  for  pity 
of  his  neighbour's  soul  he  will  have  none  of  his  body,  let 
him  be  sure  that  (as  St.  John  saith)  he  that  loveth  not 
his  neighbour  whom  he  seeth,  loveth  God  but  a  little 
whom  he  seeth  not.J  So  that  he  that  hath  no  pity  of 
the  pain  that  he  seeth  his  neighbour  feel  afore  him, 
*  1  Cor.  v.  f  [2  Cor.  ii.]  J  1  Joan.  iv. 


pitieth  little  (whatsoever  he  say)  the  pain  of  his  soul  that 
he  seeth  not. 

God  sendeth  us  also  such  tribulation  sometime,  be 
cause  his  pleasure  is  to  have  us  pray  unto  him  for  help. 
And  therefore,  when  St.  Peter  was  in  prison,  the  Scrip 
ture  sheweth  that  the  whole  Church  without  intermission 
prayed  incessantly  for  him ;  and  that  at  their  fervent 
prayer  God  by  miracle  delivered  him.*  When  the  disci 
ples  in  the  tempest  stood  in  fear  of  drowning,  they  prayed 
unto  Christ  and  said,  Salva  nos,  JDomine,  perimus ; — Save 
us,  Lord,  we  perish.t  And  then  at  their  prayer  he  shortly 
ceased  the  tempest.  And  now  see  we  proved  often,  that 
in  sore  weather  or  sickness,  by  general  processions  God 
giveth  gracious  help.  And  many  a  man  in  his  great  pain 
and  sickness  by  calling  upon  God  is  marvellously  made 
whole.  This  is  God's  goodness,  that  because  ©on's  g0ou* 
in  wealth  we  remember  him  not,  but  forget  to  ness- 
pray  to  him,  sendeth  us  sorrow  and  sickness  to  force  us  to 
draw  toward  him,  and  compelleth  us  to  call  upon  him 
and  pray  for  release  of  our  pain.  Whereby  when  we 
learn  to  know  him,  and  seek  to  him,  we  take  a  good 
occasion  to  fall  after  into  farther  grace. 

*  Act.  xii.  t  Matth.  viii. 



Of  them  that  in  Tribulation  seek  not  unto  God,  but  some 
to  the  flesh,  and  some  to  the  world,  and  some  to  the  devil 

INCENT. — VERILY,  good  uncle,  with  this 
good  answer  I  am  well  content. 

ANTONY. — Yea,  cousin,  but  many  men 
are  there  with  whom  God  is  not  content, 
which  abuse  this  great  goodness  of  his, 
whom  neither  fair  treating,  nor  hard  hand- 
«&j),  ijoto  true  ling,  can  cause  to  remember  their  Maker ;  but 
in  wealth  they  be  wanton  and  forget  God,  and 
follow  their  lust,  and  when  God  with  tribulation  draw- 
eth  them  toward  him,  then  wax  they  wode,  and  draw 
back  all  that  ever  they  may,  and  rather  run  and  seek 
help  at  any  other  hand,  than  to  go  fet  it  at  his.  Some 
for  comfort  seek  to  the  flesh,  some  to  the  world,  and 
some  to  the  devil  himself.  Some  man  that  in  worldly 
prosperity  is  very  dull,  and  hath  deep  stepped  into  many 
a  sore  sin,  which  sins,  when  he  did  them,  he  counted  for 
a  notable  Par^  °f  n^s  pleasure  :  God  willing  of  his  good- 

SSung  ness  to  ca^  *^e  man  to  Srace>  casteth  a  re- 
aim  tioto  it  morse  into  his  mind  among  after  his  first 
K2?tK  sleep,  and  maketh  him  lie  a  little  awhile  and 
jmeri  men.  bethink  him.  Then  beginneth  he  to  remember 
his  life,  and  from  that  he  falleth  to  think  upon  his  death, 
and  how  he  must  leave  all  this  worldly  wealth  within  a 
while  behind  here  in  this  world,  and  wralk  hence  alone, 
he  wotteth  not  whither,  nor  how  soon  he  shall  take  his 
journey  thither,  nor  can  tell  what  company  he  shall  meet 


there.  And  then  beginneth  he  to  think  that  it  were  good 
to  make  sure,  and  to  be  merry,  so  that  he  be  wise  there 
with,  lest  there  hap  to  be  such  black  bugs  indeed  as  folks 
call  devils,  whose  torments  he  was  wont  to  take  for  poets' 
tales.  Those  thoughts,  if  they  sink  deep,  are  a  sore  tribu 
lation.  And  surely  if  he  take  hold  of  the  grace  that  God 
therein  offereth  him,  his  tribulation  is  whole-  ar.niwiatton 
some  and  shall  be  full  comfortable,  to  remem-  to&otesome- 
ber  that  God  by  this  tribulation  calleth  him,  and  biddeth 
him  come  home  out  of  the  country  of  sin  that  he  was 
bred  and  brought  up  so  long  in,  and  come  into  the  land 
of  behest  that  floweth  with  milk  and  honey.  And  then 
if  he  follow  this  calling  (as  many  one  full  well  doth) 
joyful  shall  his  sorrow  be,  and  glad  shall  he  be  to  change 
his  life,  leave  his  wanton  lusts,  and  do  penance  for  his 
sins,  bestowing  his  time  upon  better  business. 

But  some  men  now,  when  this  calling  of  God  another  sort  of 
causeth  them  to  be  sad,  they  be  loth  to  leave  JJJ  ^"Se 
their  sinful  lusts  that  hang  in  their  hearts,  ««*• 
and  specially  if  they  have  any  such  kind  of  living  as  they 
must  needs  leave  off,  or  fall  deeper  in  sin  :  or  if  they  have 
done  so  many  great  wrongs  that  they  have  many  mends 
to  make,  that  must  (if  they  follow  God)  minish  much 
of  their  money,  then  are  these  folk  (alas !)  wofully 
bewrapped.  For  God  pricketh  upon  them  of  his  great 
goodness  still,  and  the  grief  of  this  great  pang  pincheth 
them  at  the  heart,  and  of  wickedness  they  wry  away,  and 
for  this  tribulation  they  turn  to  their  flesh  for  help,  and 
labour  to  shake  off  this  thought,  and  then  they  mend 
their  pillow,  and  lay  their  head  softer,  and  ptarfc  tfifs 
essay  to  sleep;  and  when  that  will  not  be,  meu- 
then  they  find  a  talk  awhile  with  them  that  lie  by  them. 
If  that  cannot  be  neither,  then  they  lie  and  long  for  day, 
and  then  get  them  forth  about  their  worldly  wretchedness 
the  matter  of  their  prosperity,  the  selfsame  sinful  things 
with  which  they  displease  God  most,  and  at  length  with 
many  times  using  this  manner  God  utterly  casteth  them 
off.  And  then  they  set  nought  neither  by  God  nor  devil. 
Peccator  cum  in  profundum  venerit,  contemnit ; — When  the 


sinner  cometh  even  into  the  depth,*  then  he  contemneth 
and  setteth  nought  by  nothing,  saving  worldly  fear  that 
may  fall  by  chance,  or  that  needs  must  (they  wot  well) 
fall  once  by  death.  But  alas !  when  death  cometh,  then 
cometh  again  his  sorrow ;  then  will  no  soft  bed  serve,  nor 
no  company  make  him  merry.  Then  he  must  leave  his 
outward  worship  and  comfort  of  his  glory,  and  lie  pant 
ing  in  his  bed  as  it  were  on  a  pin-bank ;  then  cometh  his 
fear  of  his  evil  life  and  of  his  dreadful  death.  Then 
cometh  the  torment  of  his  cumbered  conscience,  and  fear 
of  his  heavy  judgment.  Then  the  devil  draweth  him  to 
despair  with  imagination  of  hell,  and  suffereth  him  not 
then  to  take  it  for  a  fable.  And  yet  if  he  do ;  then 
findeth  it  the  wretch  no  fable.  Ah  !  wo  worth  the  while 
that  folk  think  not  of  this  in  time. 

God  sendeth  to  some  man  great  trouble  in  his  mind, 
and  great  tribulation  about  his  worldly  goods,  because  he 
would  of  his  goodness  take  his  delight  and  his  confidence 
from  them.  And  yet  the  man  withdraweth  no  part  of 
his  fond  phantasies,  but  falleth  more  fervently  to  them 
than  before,  and  setteth  his  whole  heart  like  a  fool  more 
upon  them :  and  then  he  taketh  him  all  to  the  devices  of 
his  worldly  councillors,  and  without  any  counsel  of  God, 
Cfic  tofsc  men  or  any  trust  put  in  him,  maketh  many  wise 
of  tins  tooria.  ways  as  he  weeneth,  and  all  turn  at  length  into 
folly,  and  one  subtle  drift  driveth  another  to  naught. 
[3n&  no  tijej)  Some  have  I  seen  even  in  their  last  sickness 
not  so?]  sit  Up  in  their  death-bed  underpropped  with 

pillows,  take  their  playfellows  to  them,  and  comfort  them 
selves  with  cards,  and  this  (they  said)  did  ease  them  well 
to  put  phantasies  out  of  their  heads :  and  what  phantasies 
trow  you  ?  Such  as  I  told  you  right  now,  of  their  own 
lewd  life  and  peril  of  their  soul,  of  heaven  and  of  hell  that 
irked  them  to  think  of,  and  therefore  cast  it  out  with  card 
Wstatfttee*  Play  as  lo?S  as  ever  they  might,  till  the  pure 
too  true  tottti  pangs  of  death  pulled  their  heart  from  their 
play,  and  put  them  in  a  case  they  could  not 
reckon  their  game.  And  then  left  they  their  gamners, 

*  Prover.  xviii. 


and  slyly  slunk  away;  and  long  was  it  not  ere  they 
gasped  up  the  ghost.  And  what  game  they  then  came 
to,  that  God  knoweth,  and  not  I.  I  pray  God  it  were 
good,  but  I  fear  it  very  sore. 

Some  men  are  there  also,  that  do  (as  did  king  Saul)  in 
tribulation  go  seek  unto  the  devil.*  This  king  had  com 
manded  all  such  to  be  destroyed,  as  used  the  false 
abominable  superstition  of  this  ungracious  g  a(ngt  cona 
witchcraft  and  necromancy,  and  yet  fell  he  to  turns  ana 
such  folly  afterward  himself,  that  ere  he  went  to 
to  battle  he  sought  unto  a  witch,  and  besought  her  to 
raise  up  a  dead  man  to  tell  him  how  he  should  speed. f  Now 
had  God  shewed  him  before  by  Samuel,  that  he  should 
come  to  nought,  and  he  went  about  none  amendment, 
but  waxed  worse  and  worse,  so  that  God  list  not  to  look 
to  him.  And  when  he  sought  by  the  prophets  to  have 
answer  of  God,  there  came  none  answer  to  him,  which 
thing  he  thought  strange.  And  because  he  was  not  with 
God  heard  at  his  pleasure,  he  made  suit  to  the  devil, 
desiring  a  woman  by  witchcraft  to  raise  up  dead  Samuel ; 
but  speed  had  he  such  thereof,  as  commonly  they  have 
all,  that  in  their  business  meddle  with  such  matters.  For 
an  evil  answer  had  he,  and  an  evil  speed  thereafter,  his 
army  discomfited  and  himself  slain.  And  as  it  is  re 
hearsed  in  Paralipomenon,J  one  cause  of  his  fall  was, 
for  lack  of  trust  in  God,  for  which  he  left  to  take  counsel 
of  God,  and  fell  to  seek  counsel  of  the  witch  §  against 
God's  prohibition  in  the  law,  and  against  his  own  good 
deed,  by  which  he  punished  and  put  out  all  witches  so 
late  afore. 

Such  speed  let  them  look  for,  that  play  the  same  part, 
as  I  see  many  do,  that  in  a  great  loss  send  to 
such  a  conjurer  to  get  their  gear  again:  and 
marvellous   things  there  they  see  sometime,   but   never 
groat  of  their  good  again.     And  many  a  fond  fool  there 
is,  that  when  he  lieth  sick,  will  meddle  with   no  physic 
in  no   manner  wise,  nor  send  his  water  to  no  cunning 

*  1  Reg.  xxvii.  f  1  Reg.  xv. 

J  Lib.  i.  cap.  10.  §  [1  Heg.  xxviii.     Levi.  xix.  xx.j 



g  man,  but  send  his  cap  or  his  hose  to  a  wise 
woman,  otherwise  called  a  witch.  Then  send- 
eth  she  word  again,  that  she  hath  spied  in  his  hose  where, 
when  he  took  no  heed,  he  was  taken  with  a  sprite  be 
tween  two  doors  as  he  went  in  the  twilight,  but  the  sprite 
would  not  let  him  feel  it  in  five  days  after ;  and  it  hath 
all  the  while  festered  in  his  body,  and  that  is  the  grief 
that  paineth  him  so  sore.  But  let  him  go  to  no  leech- 
craft,  nor  any  manner  of  physic,  other  than  good  meat 
and  strong  drink,  for  syrups  should  souse  him  up.  But 
he  shall  have  five  leaves  of  valerian  that  she 

Ufiarm.]  enchanted  with  a  charm,  and  gathered  with 
her  left  hand :  let  him  lay  those  five  leaves  to  his  right 
thumb,  not  bind  it  fast  to,  but  let  it  hang  loose  thereat 
by  a  green  thread :  he  shall  never  need  to  change  it,  look 
it  fall  not  away,  but  let  it  hang  till  he  be  whole,  and  he 
shall  need  no  more. 

In  such  wise  witches,  and  in  such  mad  medicines  have 
many  fools  more  faith  a  great  deal,  than  in  God.  And 
thus,  cousin,  as  I  tell  you,  all  these  kind  of  folk  that  in 
their  tribulation  call  not  upon  God,  but  seek  for  their 
help  and  for  their  ease  otherwhere,  to  the  flesh  and  the 
world,  and  some  to  the  flinging  fiend  himself;  the  tribu 
lation  that  God's  goodness  sendeth  them  for  good,  them- 
self  by  their  folly  turn  unto  their  harm.  And  they  that 
on  the  other  side  seek  unto  God  therein,  both  comfort 
and  profit  they  greatly  take  thereby. 



Another  Objection,  with  the  Answers  thereunto. 

INCENT.— I  LIKE  well,  good  uncle,  all 
your  answers  herein;  but  one  doubt  yet 
remaineth  there  in  mind,  which  riseth 
upon  this  answer  that  you  make,  and  that 
doubt  soiled,  I  will  as  for  this  time,  mine 
own  good  uncle,  encumber  you  no  farther. 
For  methink  I  do  you  very  much  wrong,  to  give  you 
occasion  to  labour  yourself  so  much  in  matter  of  some 
study,  with  long  talking  at  once.  I  will  therefore  at 
this  time  move  you  but  one  thing,  and  seek  other  time 
at  your  more  ease  for  the  remnant.  My  doubt,  good 
uncle,  is  this.  I  perceive  well  by  your  answers  [JFour  notatic 
gathered  and  considered  together,  that  you  will  Hitngs.] 
well  agree,  that  a  man  may  both  have  worldly  wealth, 
and  yet  well  go  to  God.  And  that  on  the  other  side,  a 
man  may  be  miserable  and  live  in  tribulation,  and  yet  go 
to  the  devil.  And  as  a  man  may  please  God  by  patience 
in  adversity,  so  may  he  please  God  by  thanksgiving  in 

Now  sith  you  grant  these  things  to  be  such,  that  either 
of  them  both  may  be  matter  of  virtue,  or  else  matter  of 
sin,  matter  of  damnation,  or  matter  of  salvation ;  they 
seem  neither  good  nor  bad  of  their  own  nature,  but  things 
of  themself  equal  and  indifferent,  turning  to  good  or  the 
contrary,  after  as  they  be  taken.  And  then  if  this  be 
thus,  I  can  perceive  no  cause  why  you  should  give  the 
pre-eminence  unto  tribulation,  or  wherefore  you  should 

F  2 


reckon  more  cause  of  comfort  therein  than  you  should 
reckon  to  stand  in  prosperity,  but  rather  a  great  deal 
less,  by  in  manner  half,  sith  in  prosperity  the  man  is  well 
at  ease,  and  may  also  by  giving  thank  to  God  get  good 
unto  his  soul,  whereas  in  tribulation,  though  he  may  merit 
by  patience,  as  in  abundance  of  worldly  wealth  the  other 
may  by  thank;  yet  lacketh  he  much  comfort  that  the 
wealthy  man  hath,  in  that  he  sore  is  grieved  with  heavi 
ness  and  pain :  besides  this  also,  that  a  wealthy  man  well 
at  ease  may  pray  to  God  quietly  and  merrily,  with  ala 
crity  and  great  quietness  of  mind,  whereas  he  that  lieth 
groaning  in  his  grief  cannot  endure  to  pray  nor  think 
almost  upon  nothing,  but  upon  his  pain. 

ANTONY. — To  begin,  cousin,  where  you  leave ;  the 
prayers  of  him  that  is  in  wealth,  and  him  that  is  in  woe, 
if  the  men  be  both  nought,  their  prayers  be  both  like. 
For  neither  hath  the  one  list  to  pray,  nor  the  other 
neither.  And  as  the  one  is  let  with  his  pain,  so  is  the 
other  with  his  pleasure,  saving  that  the  pain  stirreth  him 
some  time  to  call  upon  God  in  his  grief,  though  the  man 
be  right  bad,  where  the  pleasure  pulleth  his  mind  another 
way,  though  the  man  be  merely  good.  And  this  point  I 
think  there  are  very  few  that  can  (if  they  say  true)  say 
that  they  find  it  otherwise.  For  in  tribulation, 
which  cometh,  you  wot  well,  in  many  sundry 
kinds,  any  man  that  is  not  a  dull  beast,  or  a 
desperate  wretch,  calleth  upon  God,  not  hourly, 
but  right  heartily,  and  setteth  his  heart  full  whole  upon 
his  request,  so  sore  he  longeth  for  ease  and  help  of  his 
heaviness.  But  when  men  are  wealthy  and  well  at  their 
ease,  while  our  tongue  pattereth  upon  our  prayers  apace ; 
good  God,  how  many  mad  ways  our  mind  wandereth  the 
while !  Yet  wot  I  well,  that  in  some  tribulation  such 
sore  sickness  there  is,  or  other  grievous  bodily  pain,  that 
hard  it  were  for  a  long  prayer  of  matins :  and  yet  some 
that  be  a-dying  say  full  devoutly  the  seven  Psalms,  and 
other  prayers,  with  the  priest  at  their  anealing ;  but  those 
that  for  the  grief  of  their  pain  cannot  endure  to  do  it,  or 
that  be  more  tender,  and  lack  that  strong  heart  and 


stomach  that  some  other  have,  God  requireth   6oB  re?u(retj) 
no  such  long  prayers  of  them.     But  the  lifting  no  mote  ttjan 
up  of  the  heart  alone,  without  any  word  at  all,  ness^atfW. 
is  more  acceptable  to  him  of  one  in  such  case, 
than  long  service  so  said,  as  folk  use  to  say  it  in  health. 
The  martyrs  in  their  agony  made  no  long  prayers  aloud, 
but  one  inch  of  such  a  prayer  so  prayed  in  that  pain,  was 
worth  a  whole  ell  and  more,  even  of  their  own  prayers 
prayed  at  some  other  time. 

Great  learned  men  say,  that  Christ,  albeit  i^ri^ 
he  was  very  God,  and  as  God,  was  in  eternal  nwtftti.] 
equal  bliss  with  his  Father,  yet  as  man  merited  not  for  us 
only,  but  for  himself  too ;  for  proof  whereof  they  lay  in 
these  words  the  authority  of  St.  Paul : —  Christus  humili- 
avit  semetipsum  factus  obediens  usque  ad  mortem,  mortem 
autem  crucis  :  propter  quod  et  Deus  exaltavit  ilium,  et  dona- 
vit  illi  nomen  quod  est  super  omne  nomen:  ut  in  nomine  Jesu 
omne  genu  flectatur,  ccelestium,  terrestrium  et  infernorum, 
et  omnis  lingua  confiteatur,  quia  Dominus  Jesus  Christus 
in  gloria  est  Dei  patris, — Christ  hath  humbled  himself, 
and  became  obedient  unto  the  death,  and  that  unto  the 
death  of  the  cross,  for  which  thing  God  hath  also  ex 
alted  him,  and  given  him  a  name  which  is  above  all 
names :  that  in  the  name  of  Jesus  every  knee  be 
bowed,  both  of  the  celestial  creatures,  and  the  terrestrial, 
and  the  infernal  too  :  and  that  every  tongue  shall  confess 
that  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ  is  in  the  glory  of  God  his 

Now  if  it  so  be,  as  these  great  learned  men  upon  such 
authorities  of  Holy  Scripture  say,  that  our  Saviour  so 
merited  as  man,  and  as  man  deserved  reward,  not  for  us 
only,  but  for  himself  also :  then  were  there  in  his  deeds, 
as  it  seemeth,  sundry  degrees  and  differences  of  deserving, 
and  not  his  maundy-like  merit,  as  his  Passion,  nor  his 
sleep-like  merit,  as  his  watch  and  his  prayer,  no  nor  his 
prayers  peradventure  all  of  like  merit  neither.  But  though 
there  none  was,  nor  none  could  be  in  his  most  blessed 
person  but  excellent,  and  incomparably  passing  the  prayer 
of  any  pure  creature :  yet  were  his  own  not  all  alike, 
*  Philip,  ii. 


Cfte  c$tef  kut  some  one  far  above  some  other.  And  then 
Drapers  of  if  it  thus  be,  of  all  his  holy  prayers,  the  chief 
seemeth  me  those  that  he  made  in  his  great 
agony  and  pain  of  his  bitter  passion.  The  first,  when  he 
fell  thrice  prostrate  in  his  agony,  when  the  heaviness  of 
his  heart  with  fear  of  death  at  hand,  so  painful  and  so 
cruel  as  he  well  beheld  it,  made  such  a  fervent  commotion 
in  his  blessed  body,  that  the  bloody  sweat  of  his  holy 
flesh  dropped  down  on  the  ground.*  The  other  were  the 
painful  prayers  that  he  made  upon  the  cross,  where  for 
CWst's  a^  the  torment  that  he  hanged  in  of  beating, 
psiRs.]  nailing,  and  stretching  out  all  his  limbs,  with 
the  wresting  of  his  sinews,  and  breaking  of  his  tender 
veins,  and  the  sharp  crown  of  thorn  so  pricking  him  into 
the  head,  that  his  blessed  blood  streamed  down  all  his 
face :  in  all  these  hideous  pains,  in  all  their  cruel  despites, 
yet  two  very  devout  and  fervent  prayers  he  made.-f-  The 
one  for  their  pardon  that  so  despiteously  put  him  to  his 
pain,  and  the  other  about  his  own  deliverance,  commend 
ing  his  own  soul  unto  his  holy  Father  in  heaven.  These 
prayers  of  his  (among  all  that  ever  he  made)  made  in  his 
Draper  in  tri-  most  pain,  reckon  I  for  the  chief.  And  these 
tuiatton  is  prayers  of  our  Saviour  at  his  bitter  passion, 
M '  and  of  his  holy  martyrs  in  the  fervour  of  their 
torment,  shall  serve  us  to  see  that  there  is  no  prayer  made 
at  pleasure  so  strong  and  effectual  as  in  tribulation. 

Now  come  I  to  the  touching  of  the  reason  that  you 
make,  where  you  tell  me  that  I  grant  you,  that  both  in 
wealth  and  in  woe  some  men  may  be  nought,  and  offend 
God,  the  one  by  impatience,  the  other  by  fleshly  lust ; 
and  on  the  other  side,  both  in  tribulation  and  prosperity 
too,  some  man  may  also  do  very  well,  and  deserve  thank  of 
God  by  thanks  given  to  God,  as  well  of  his  gift  of  riches, 
worship,  and  wealth,  as  of  need  and  penury,  prisonment, 
sickness,  and  pain  :  and  that  therefore  you  cannot  see  for 
what  cause  I  should  give  any  pre-eminence  in  comfort 
unto  tribulation,  but  rather  allow  prosperity  for  the  thing 
more  comfortable  :  and  that  not  a  little,  but  in  manner 
by  double,  sith  therein  hath  the  soul  comfort,  and  the 
*  Luc.  xxii.  f  Luc.  xxiii. 


body  both :  the  soul  by  thank  (for  his  gift)  given  unto 
God ;  and  then  the  body,  by  being  well  at  ease,  where 
the  person  pained  in  tribulation,  taketh  no  comfort  but  in 
his  soul  alone.  First,  as  for  your  double  comfort,  cousin, 
you  may  cut  off  the  one.  For  a  man  in  prosperity, 
though  he  be  bounden  to  thank  God  of  his  gift,  wherein 
he  feeleth  ease,  and  may  be  glad  also  that  he  giveth 
thank  to  God  ;  yet  for  that  he  taketh  his  ease  here  hath 
he  little  cause  of  comfort,  except  that  the  sensual  feeling 
of  bodily  pleasure  you  list  to  call  by  the  name  of  comfort. 
Nor  I  say  not  nay,  but  that  sometime  men  use  so  to  take 
it,  when  they  say,  this  good  drink  comforteth  well  my 
heart.  But  comfort,  cousin,  is  properly  taken  aajiiatts 
by  them  that  take  it  right,  rather  for  the  con-  wmfort. 
solation  of  good  hope  that  men  take  it  in  their  heart  of 
some  good  growing  toward  them,  than  for  a  present 
pleasure,  with  which  the  body  is  delighted  and  tickled  for 
the  while. 

Now  though  a  man  without  patience  can  have  no 
reward  for  his  pain,  yet  when  his  pain  is  patiently  taken 
for  God's  sake,  and  his  will  conformed  to  God's  pleasure 
therein,  God  rewarded  the  sufferer  after  the  rate  of  his 
pain,  and  this  thing  appeareth  by  many  a  place  in  Scrip 
ture,  of  which  some  have  I  shewed  you,  and  yet  shall  I 
shew  you  more.  But  never  found  I  any  place  in  Scripture 
that  I  remember,  in  which,  though  the  wealthy  man 
thanked  God  for  his  gift,  our  Lord  promised  any  reward 
in  heaven,  because  the  man  took  his  ease  and  pleasure 
here.  And  therefore,  sith  I  speak  but  of  such  comfort  as 
is  very  comfort  indeed,  by  which  a  man  hath  hope  of 
God's  favour  and  remission  of  his  sins,  with  minishing 
of  his  pains  in  purgatory,  or  reward  else  in  heaven :  and 
such  comfort  cometh  of  tribulation,  and  for  tribulation 
well  taken,  but  not  for  pleasure,  though  it  be  well  taken; 
therefore  of  your  comfort  that  you  double  by  prosperity, 
you  may,  as  I  told  you,  cut  very  well  away  the  half. 
Now  why  I  give  prerogative  in  comfort  unto  tribulation 
far  above  prosperity,  though  a  man  may  do  well  in  both :» 
of  this  thing  will  I  shew  you  causes  two  or  three. 


First,  as  I  before  have  at  length  shewed  you,  out  of 
all  question  continual  wealth  interrupted  with  no  tribula- 
conttnuai  tion  is  a  very  discomfortable  token  of  ever- 
mfs^auKt?'  lasting  damnation.  Whereupon  it  folio weth, 
tomfortdbie.  that  tribulation  is  one  cause  of  comfort  unto 
a  man's  heart,  in  that  it  dischargeth  him  of  the  discom 
fort  that  he  might  of  reason  take  of  overlong  lasting 
wealth.  Another  is,  that  the  Scripture  much  commend- 
eth  tribulation,  as  occasion  of  more  profit,  than  wealth 
and  prosperity,  not  to  them  only  that  are  therein,  but  to 
them  too  that  resort  unto  them.  And  therefore,  saith 
Ecclesiastes :  Melius  est  ire  ad  domum  luctus,  quam  ad 
domum  convivii.  In  ilia  enim  finis  cunctorum  admonetur 
hominum,  et  vivens  cogitat  quid  faturum  sit ; — Better  it  is 
to  go  to  the  house  of  weeping  and  wailing  for  some  man's 
death,  than  to  the  house  of  a  feast.  For  in  the  house  of 
heaviness  is  a  man  put  in  remembrance  of  the  end  of 
every  man,  and  while  he  yet  liveth,  he  thinketh  what 
shall  come  after.*  And  after  yet  he  farther  saith :  Cor 
sapientum,  ubi  tristitia  est :  et  cor  stultorum,  ubi  Icetitia ; — 
The  heart  of  wise  men  is  there  as  heaviness  is,  and  the 
heart  of  fools  is  there  as  in  mirth  and  gladness.^  And 
verily,  there  as  you  shall  hear  worldly  mirth  seem  to  be 
commanded  in  Scripture,  it  is  either  commonly  spoken, 
as  in  the  person  of  some  worldly  disposed  people,  or  un- 
derstanden  of  rejoicing  spiritual,  or  meant  of  some  small 
moderate  refreshing  of  the  mind,  against  an  heavy  dis 
comfortable  dulness.  Now  whereas  prosperity  was  to 
the  children  of  Israel  promised  in  the  old  law  as  a 
special  gift  of  God :  that  was  for  their  imperfection  at 
that  time,  to  draw  them  to  God  with  gay  things  and 
pleasant,  as  men  to  make  children  learn  give  them  cake- 
bread  and  butter.  For,  as  the  Scripture  maketh  men 
tion,  that  people  were  much  after  the  manner  of  children 
in  lack  of  wit,  and  in  waywardness.  And  therefore  was 
their  master  Moses  called  Pcedagogus^  that  is,  a  teacher 
of  children ;  or  (as  they  call  such  a  one  in  the  grammar- 
schools),  an  usher  or  a  master  of  the  petits.  For,  as  St, 
*  Eccles.  vii.  f  Ibidem.  \  [Moses.] 


Paul  saith  :  Nihil  ad  perfectum  duocit  leoo ; — 'The  old  law 
brought  nothing  to  perfection.*  And  God  also  threaten- 
eth  folk  with  tribulation  in  this  world  for  sin,  not  for 
that  worldly  tribulation  is  evil,  but  for  that  we  should  be 
well  ware  of  the  sickness  of  sin,  for  fear  of  the  thing  to 
follow :  which  though  it  be  indeed  a  very  good  whole 
some  thing,  if  we  will  take  it,  is  yet  because  it  is  painful 
the  thing  that  we  be  lothe  to  have. 

But  this  I  say  yet  again  and  again,  that  as  for  far  the 
better  thing  in  this  world  toward  the  getting  of  the  very 
good  that  God  giveth  in  the  world  to  comet  [Scripture ats- 
the  Scripture  undoubtedly  so  commendeth  {JoSiS"*** 
tribulation,  that  in  respect  and  comparison  tocaitif] 
thereof  it  discommendeth  this  worldly  wretched  wealth 
and  discomfortable  comfort  utterly.  For  to  what  other 
thing  soundeth  the  words  of  Ecclesiastes  that  I  rehearsed 
you  now :  that  it  is  better  to  be  in  the  house  of  heavi 
ness,  than  to  be  at  a  feast  ?t  Whereto  soundeth  this  com 
parison  of  his,  that  the  wise  man's  heart  draweth  thither 
as  folk  are  in  sadness;  and  the  heart  of  a  fool  is  there 
as  he  may  find  mirth  ?  Whereto  draweth  this  threat  of 
the  wise  man,  that  he  that  delighted  in  wealth  shall  fall 
into  woe  ?  Risus  (saith  he)  dolore  miscebitur,  et  extrema 
gaudii  luctus  occupat ; — Laughter  shall  be  mingled  with 
sorrow,  and  the  end  of  mirth  is  taken  up  with  heaviness. £ 
And  our  Saviour  saith  himself:  V<B  vobis  qui  ridetis,  quia 
lugebitis  et  flebitis ; — Woe  be  to  you  that  laugh;  for  you 
shall  weep  and  wail.§  But  he  saith  on  the  other  side : 
Beati  qui  lugent,  quoniam  illi  consolabuntur ; — Blessed  are 
they  that  weep  and  wail,  for  they  shall  be  comforted. || 
And  he  saith  unto  his  disciples  :  Mundus  gaudebit,  vos  au- 
tem  dolebitis :  sed  tristitia  vestra  vertetur  in  gaudium  ; — 
The  world  shall  joy,  and  you  shall  be  sorry  :  but  your 
sorrow  shall  be  turned  into  joy.^f  And  so  is  it,  you  wot 
well,  now.  And  the  mirth  of  many  that  then  were  in 
joy,  is  now  turned  all  to  sorrow.  And  thus  you  see  by 
the  Scripture  plain,  that  in  matter  of  very  comfort,  tribu- 

*  Heb.  vii.  f  [Eccles.  vii.]  J  Proverb,  xiv. 

§  Luc.  vi.  ||   [Luc.  vi.]  ^f  Joan.  xvi. 


lation  is  as  far  above  prosperity,  as  the  day  is  above  the 

Another  pre-eminence  of  tribulation  over  wealth  in 
occasion  of  merit  and  reward,  shall  well  appear  upon 
certain  considerations  well  marked  in  them  both.  Tribu- 
ffjoto  trttuia-  lation  meriteth  in  patience,  and  in  the  obedient 
turn  tnerttetti.  conforming  of  the  man's  will  unto  God,  and  in 
thanks  given  to  God  for  his  visitation. 

toj  If  you  reckon  me  now  against  these,  many 

man  tnaj>  other  good  deeds  that  a  wealthy  man  may  do ; 
as  by  riches,  give  alms;  by  authority,  labour  in 
doing  many  men  justice,  or  if  you  find  farther  any  such 
other  thing  like :  first,  I  say,  that  the  patient  person  in 
tribulation  hath  in  all  these  virtues  of  the  wealthy  man 
an  occasion  of  merit  too,  which  the  wealthy  man  hath  not 
aafien  uotoer  agamward,  m  the  fore-rehearsed  virtues  of  his. 
lacKfti),  goon  For  it  is  easy  for  the  person  that  is  in  tribula- 
bui  is  accepter  i[on  to  be  well  willing  to  do  the  self-same,  if 
he  could ;  and  then  shall  his  good  will,  where  the  power 
fEDe  goon  totu  ^ac^eth,  go  very  near  to  the  merit  of  the  deed. 
goetfc  near  to  But  now  is  not  the  wealthy  man  in  a  like  case 
with  the  will  of  patience,  and  conformity,  and 
thanks  given  to  God  for  tribulation :  sith  it  is  not  so 
ready  for  the  wealthy  man  to  be  content  to  be  in  the  tri 
bulation  that  is  the  occasion  of  the  patient's  desert,  as  for 
the  troubled  person  to  be  content  to  be  in  prosperity  to 
do  the  good  deeds  that  the  wealthy  man  doth. 

Besides  this,  all  that  the  wealthy  man  doth,  though 
he  could  not  do  them  without  those  things  that  are  ac 
counted  for  wealth,  and  called  by  that  name,  as  not  do 
great  alms  without  great  riches,  nor  do  these  many  men 
right  by  his  labour,  without  great  authority:  yet  may 
he  do  these  things,  being  not  in  wealth  indeed,  as  where 
he  taketh  his  wealth  for  no  wealth,  nor  his 
riches  for  no  riches,  nor  in  heart  setteth  by 
neither  nother,  but  secretly  liveth  in  a  contrite 
heart  and  a  life  penitential,  as  many  times  did  the  pro- 
[jaabto.]  phet  David  being  a  great  king,  so  that  worldly 
wealth  was  no  wealth  to  him.  And  therefore  is  not  of 


necessity  worldly  wealth  the  cause  of  those 

good  deeds,  sith  he  may  do  them,  and  doth  them 

best   indeed,   to  whom  the  thing  that  worldly  folk  call 

wealth,  is  yet  for  his   godly-set  mind  (drawn  from  the 

delight  thereof)  no  pleasure  in  manner  nor  no  wealth 

at  all. 

Finally,  whensoever  the  wealthy  man  doth  those  good 
virtuous  deeds,  if  we  consider  the  nature  of  them  right, 
we  shall  perceive,  that  in  doing  of  them,  he  doth  ever 

for  the  rate  and  portion  of  those  deeds  minish 

/»  i  •  r         ,,i  IT  .        ••         fflaaoriuip 

the  matter  of  his  worldly  wealth,  as  in  giving  tocaitfi  is  mf- 

great  alms  he  departeth  with  so  much  of  his  ?e3S/V°w 
worldly  goods,   which   are   in   that   part   the  JJJJJ  8000 
matter  of  his  wealth.     In  labouring  about  the 
doing  of  many  good  deeds,  his  labour  minisheth  his  quiet 
and  his  rest.     And  for  the  rate  of  so  much,  it  minisheth 
his  wealth,  if  pain  and  wealth  be  each  to  other  contrary, 
as  I  ween  you  will  agree  they  be. 

Now  whosoever  then  will  well  consider  the  thing,  he 
shall,  I  doubt  not,  perceive  and  see  therein  that  in 
these  good  deeds  that  the  wealthy  man  doth,  though 
he  do  them  by  that,  that  his  wealth  maketh  him  able, 
yet  in  the  doing  of  them  he  departeth  (for  the  por 
tion)  from  the  nature  of  wealth,  toward  the  nature  of 
some  part  of  tribulation  :  and  therefore,  even  in  those 
good  deeds  themself  that  prosperity  doth,  doth  in 
goodness  the  prerogative  of  tribulation  above  wealth  ap 

Now  if  it  hap,  that  some  man  cannot  perceive  this 
point,  because  the  wealthy  man  for  all  his  alms  abideth 
rich  still,  and  for  all  his  good  labour  abideth  still  in  his 
authority;  let  him  consider,  that  I  speak  but  after  the 
portion.  And  because  the  portion  of  all  that  he  giveth 
of  his  goods  is  very  little  in  respect  of  that  he  leaveth  ; 
therefore  is  the  reason  happily  with  some  folk  little  per 
ceived.  But  if  it  so  were  that  he  went  forth  with  giving, 
till  he  had  given  out  all  and  left  himself  nothing,  then 
would  a  very  blind  man  see  it.  For  as  he  were  from 
riches  come  to  poverty,  so  were  he  from  wealth  willingly 
fallen  into  tribulation.  And  between  labour  and  rest 


the  reason  goeth  all  alike  :  which  who  so  can  consider 
shall  see,  that  for  the  portion  in  every  good  deed  done 
by  the  wealthy  man,  the  matter  is  all  one.  Then  sith  we 

Cfiree  tilings  fte  ^aVe  somewnat  weighed  the  virtues  of  pros- 
matter  of  merit  perity,  let  us  consider  on  the  other  side  the 
!ion'  aforenamed  things  that  are  the  matter  of 
merit  and  reward  in  tribulation,  that  is,  to  wit,  patience, 
conformity,  and  thanks. 

Patience  Patience  the  wealthy  man  hath  not,  in  that 

he  is  wealthy.  For  if  he  be  pinched  in  any 
point  wherein  he  taketh  patience,  in  that  part  he  suffered! 
some  tribulation,  and  so  not  by  his  prosperity,  but  by  his 
tribulation,  hath  the  man  that  merit.  Like  is  it  if  we 
would  say,  that  the  wealthy  man  hath  another  virtue  in 
the  stead  of  patience,  that  is  to  wit,  the  keeping  of  himself 
from  pride  and  from  such  other  sins  as  wealth  would 
bring  him  to.  For  the  resisting  of  such  motions  is,  as  I 
before  told  you,  without  any  doubt  a  minishing  of  fleshly 
tuaerft  grotoefy  wealth,  and  is  a  very  true  kind,  and  one  of  the 
Xat?5jMfietfis  most  Pr°fitable  kinds  of  tribulation.  So  that 
winfsijtag  of  all  that  good  merit  groweth  to  the  wealthy 
llt*)<]  man,  not  by  his  wealth,  but  by  the  minishing 
of  his  wealth  with  wholesome  tribulation.  The  next 
colour  of  comparison  is  in  the  other  twain  ;  that  is  to  wit, 
in  the  conformity  of  man's  will  unto  God,  and  in  thanks 
given  unto  God.  For  like  as  the  good  man  in  tribulation 

conformu  sent  n*m  ^7  God,  conformeth  his  will  to  God's 
aimtfttSsJS?  will  in  that  behalf,  and  giveth  God  thank 
therefor;  so  doth  the  wealthy  man  in  his 
wealth  which  God  giveth  him  conform  his  will  to  God's 
will  in  that  point  :  sith  he  is  well  content  to  take  it  of  his 
gift,  and  giveth  God  again  also  right  hearty  thank  there 
for.  And  thus,  as  I  said,  in  these  two  things  may  you 
catch  most  colour  to  compare  the  wealthy  man's  merit 
with  the  merit  of  tribulation. 

But  yet  that  they  be  not  matches,  you  may  soon  see  by 
this.  For  in  tribulation  can  there  none  conform  his  will 
unto  God's,  and  give  him  thank  therefor,  but  such  a  man 
as  hath  in  that  point  a  very  special  good  mind.  But  he 
that  is  very  nought,  or  hath  in  his  heart  but  very  little 


-good,  may  well  be  content  to  take  wealth  at  God's  hand, 
and  say,  Marry,  I    thank    you,   Sir,  for  this  m  sucj,  tfiete 
with  all  my  heart,  and  will  not  fail  to  love  au  wound. 
you  well,  while  you  let  me  fare  no  worse.     Confitebitur 
tibi,  cum  benefeceris  ei.*     Now  if  the  wealthy  man  be 
very  good,  yet  in  conformity  of  his  will  and  thanks  given 
to  God  for  his  wealth,  his  virtue  is  not  like  yet  to  his 
that  doth  the  same  in  tribulation.     For  as  the  Philoso 
phers   said   in  that  thing  very   well   of  old,f  VMm  ^^ 
Virtue  standeth  in  things  of  hardness  and  dif-  tur  circa  fttffi- 
ficulty.     And  then,  as  I  told  you,   much  less  c(Ua' 
hardness  and  much  less  difficulty  there  is  by  a  great  deal 
to  be  content  and  conform  our  will  to  God's  will,  and  to 
give  him  thank  too  for  our  ease,  than  for  our  pain;  for 
our  wealth  than  for  our  woe.     And  therefore  is  the  con 
forming  of  our  will  unto   God's,  and  the  thanks  that  we 
give  him  for  our  tribulation,  more  worthy  thank  again, 
and  more  reward  meriteth  in  the  very  fast  wealth  and 
felicity  of  heaven,  than  our  conformity  with  our  thanks 
given  for  and  in  our  worldly  wealth  here. 

And  this  thing  saw  the  devil,  when  he  said  to  our  Lord 
of  Job,  that  it  was  no  marvel  though  Job  had  a  reverent 
fear  unto  God,J  God  had  done  so  much  for  him,  and 
kept  him  in  prosperity.  But  the  devil  wist  well  it  was 
an  hard  thing  for  Job  to  be  so  loving,  and  so  to  give 
thanks  to  God  in  tribulation  and  adversity,  and  therefore 
was  he  glad  to  get  leave  of  God  to  put  him  in  tribulation, 
and  thereby  trusted  to  cause  him  murmur  and  grudge 
against  God  with  impatience.  But  the  devil  had  there  a 
fall  in  his  own  turn.  For  the  patience  of  Job  in  the  short 
time  of  his  adversity  gat  him  much  more  favour  and 
thank  of  God,  and  more  is  he  renowned  in  Scripture,  and 
commended  there  for  that  than  for  all  the  goodness  of  his 
long  prosperous  life.  Our  Saviour  saith  himself  also,  that 
if  we  say  well  by  them,  or  yield  them  thank  that  do  us 
good,  we  do  no  great  thing  therein,  and  therefore  can  we 
with  reason  look  for  no  great  thank  again. §  And  thus 

*  Psal.  xxviii.  f  Ethic,  ii. 

J  Job.  i.  §   [Luc.  vi.     Matth.  v.] 


have  I  shewed  you,  lo  !  no  little  pre-eminence  that  tribu 
lation  hath  in  merit,  and  therefore  no  little  pre-eminence 
of  comfort  in  hope  of  heavenly  reward,  above  the  virtues 
(the  merit  and  cause  of  good  hope  and  comfort)  that 
cometh  of  wealth  and  prosperity. 



A  summary  Commendation  of  Tribulation. 

ND  therefore,  good  cousin,  to  finish  our 
talking  for  this  time,  lest  I  should  be  too 
long  a  let  unto  your  other  business,  if  we 
lay  first  for  a  sure  ground  a  ^  f0ltnl,ation 
very  fast  faith,  whereby  we  be-  of  faiti>- 
lieve  to  be  true  all  that  the  Scripture  saith 
understanden  truly,  as  the  holy  doctors  declare  it,  and  as 
the  Spirit  of  God  instructeth  his  Catholic  church ;  then 
shall  we  consider  tribulation  as  a  gracious  gift  c  _ecul(ar 
of  God,  a  gift  that  he  gave  specially  his  special  BOOH  properties 
friends,  the  thing  that  in  Scripture  is  highly  c 
commended  and  praised,  a  thing  whereof  the  contrary 
long  continued  is  perilous,  a  thing  which  but  if  God  send 
it,  men  have  need  by  penance  to  put  upon  themself  and 
seek  it,  a  thing  that  helpeth  to  purge  our  sins  passed,  a 
thing  that  preserveth  us  from  sins  that  else  would  come, 
a  thing  that  causeth  us  to  set  less  by  the  world,  a  thing 
that  exciteth  us  to  draw  more  toward  God,  a  thing  that 
much  minisheth  our  pains  in  purgatory,  a  thing  that 
much  increaseth  our  final  reward  in  heaven,  the  thing  by 
which  our  Saviour  entered  his  own  kingdom,  the  thing 
with  which  all  his  apostles  followed  him  thither,  the  thing 
which  our  Saviour  exhorteth  all  men  to,  the  thing  without 
which  (he  saith)  we  be  not  his  disciples,  the  thing  with 
out  which  no  man  can  get  to  heaven. 

Whoso  these  things   thinketh   on   and  re-  $0to  profitatie 
membereth  well,  shall  in  his  tribulation  neither  trl<)Ulation  ls- 
murmur  nor  grudge ;  but  first  by  patience  take  his  pain 
in  worth,  and  then  shall  he  grow  in  goodness  and  think 


himself  well  worthy.  Then  shall  he  consider  that  God 
sendeth  it  for  his  weal,  and  thereby  shall  he  be  moved  to 
give  God  thank  therefor.  Therewith  shall  his  grace  in 
crease,  and  God  shall  give  him  such  comfort,  by  consi 
dering  that  God  is  in  his  trouble  evermore  near  unto  him, 
— (Quia  Deus  juxta  est  Us  qui  tribulato  sunt  corde ; — God 
is  near,  saith  the  prophet,  to  those  that  have  their  heart 
in  trouble)  :*  that  his  joy  thereof  shall  minish  much  of 
his  pain,  and  he  shall  not  seek  for  vain  comfort  else 
where,  but  specially  trust  in  God,  and  seek  for  help  of 
sssijat  |e  ttjat  mm>  submitting  his  own  will  wholly  to  God's 
is  in  trffiuiatiim  pleasure,  and  pray  to  God  in  his  heart,  and 

pray  his  friends  pray  for  him,  and  specially 
the  priests,  as  St.  James  biddetn,t  and  begin  first  with 
confession,  and  make  us  clean  to  God  and  ready  to  de 
part,  and  be  glad  to  go  to  God,  putting  purgatory  to  his 

If  we  thus  do,  this  dare  I  boldly  say,  we  shall  never 
live  here  the  less  of  half  an  hour,  but  shall  with  this 
comfort  find  our  hearts  lighted,  and  thereby  the  grief  of 
our  tribulation  lessed,  and  the  more  likelihood  to  recover 
and  to  live  the  longer.  Now  if  God  will  we  shall  hence, 
then  doth  he  much  more  for  us.  For  he  that  this  way 

taketh,  cannot  go  but  well.  For  of  him  that 
nfceSjta  is  loth  to  leave  this  wretched  world,  my  heart 

is  much  in  fear  lest  he  die  not  well.  Hard  it 
is  for  him  to  be  welcome  that  cometh  against  his  will, 
that  saith  to  God  when  he  cometh  to  him,  Welcome 

my  maker,   maugre   my  teeth.     But  he  that 

-  so    loveth     him    that    he    longeth    to    go    to 
mss  to  me.]      him,    my  heart  cannot   give  me  but  he  shall 
be   welcome,    all   were  it   so,  that  he    should   come  ere 
he   were   well   purged.      For   charity  covereth    a   multi 
tude   of  sins,  and   he    that   trusteth  in   God  cannot    be 
confounded.     And  Christ  saith,  He   that  cometh  to  me, 
1   will    not  cast    him    out.J     And    therefore  let  us  never 
make    our   reckoning    of  long    life;    keep   it    while    we 
may,    because     God     hath     so     commanded.       But    if 

*  Psal.  xxxiv.  t  Jacob!  x. 

J  Proverb,  x,     [And  Proverb,  iv.]     Johan.  vi. 


God  give  the  occasion  that  with  his  good  will  we  may  go, 
let  us  be  glad  thereof,  and  long  to  go  to  him.  And  then 
shall  hope  of  heaven  comfort  our  heaviness,  and  out  of 
our  transitory  tribulation  shall  we  go  to  everlasting  glory, 
to  which,  my  good  cousin,  I  pray  God  bring  us  both. 

VINCENT. — Mine  own  good  uncle,  I  pray  God  reward 
you,  and  at  this  time  will  I  no  longer  trouble  you.  I 
trow  I  have  this  day  done  you  much  tribulation  with  my 
importune  objections  of  very  little  substance.  And  you 
have  even  shewed  me  an  ensample  of  sufferance,  in  bear 
ing  my  folly  so  long  and  so  patiently.  And  yet  shall  I 
be  so  bold  upon  you  farther,  as  to  seek  some  time  to  talk 
forth  of  the  remnant,  that  most  profitable  point  of  tri 
bulation,  which  you  said  you  reserved  to  treat  of  last  of 

ANTONY. — Let  that  be  hardily  very  shortly,  cousin, 
while  this  is  fresh  in  mind. 

VINCENT. — I  trust,  good  uncle,  so  to  put  this  in  re 
membrance,  that  it  shall  never  be  forgotten  with  me.  Our 
Lord  send  you  such  comfort  as  he  knoweth  to  be  best.  '*" 

ANTONY. — That  is  well  said,  good  cousin,  anifTpray 
the  same  for  you  and  for  all  our^other  friends  that  have 
need  of  comfort,  for  whom,  I  think,  more  than  for  your 
self,  you  needed  of  some  counsel. 

VINCENT. — I  shall  with  this  good  counsel,  that  I  have 
heard  of  you,  do  them  some  comfort,  I  trust  in  God  :  to 
whose  keeping  I  commit  you. 

ANTONY. — And  I  you  also.  Farewell,  mine  own  good 




IN  CENT. — IT  is  to  me,  good  uncle,  no 
little  comfort,  that  as  I  came  in  here  I 
heard  of  your  folk,  that  you  have  had  since 
my  last  being  here  (God  be  thanked !) 
meetly  good  rest,  and  your  stomach  some 
what  more  come  to  you.  For  verily,  al 
beit  I  had  heard  before,  that  in  respect  of  the  great  grief 
that  for  a  month's  space  had  holden  you,  you  were  a 
little  before  my  last  coming  to  you  somewhat  eased  and 
relieved  (for  else  would  riot  I  for  no  good  have  put  you 
to  the  pain  to  talk  so  much  as  you  then  did) ;  yet  after 
my  departing  from  you,  remembering  how  long  we  tar 
ried  together,  and  that  while  we  were  all  that  while  in 
talking  all  the  labour  was  yours,  in  talking  so  long  toge 
ther  without  interpausing  between,  and  that  of  matter 
studious  and  displeasant,  all  of  disease  and  sickness,  and 
other  pain  and  tribulation ;  I  was  in  good  faith  very  sorry, 
and  not  a  little  wroth  with  myself  for  mine  own  oversight, 
that  I  had  so  little  considered  your  pain,  and  very  feared 
I  was  (till  I  heard  other  word)  lest  you  should  have  waxen 
weaker,  and  more  sick  thereafter.  But  now  I  thank  our 
Lord  that  hath  sent  the  contrary :  for  else  a  little  cast 
ing  back  were  in  this  great  age  of  yours  no  little  danger 
and  peril. 

ANTONY. — Nay,  nay,  good  cousin,  to  talk  much  (except 
some  other  pain  let  me)  is  to  me  little  grief.  A  fond  old 
man  is  often  as  full  of  words  as  a  woman.  It  is,  you  wot 
well,  as  some  poets  paint  us,  all  the  last  of  an  old  fool's 


life  to  sit  well  and  warm  with  a  cup  and  a  roasted  crab, 
and  drivel,  and  drink,  and  talk.  But  in  earnest,  cousin, 
our  talking  was  to  me  great  comfort,  and  nothing  dis- 
pleasant  at  all.  For  though  we  commenced  of  sorrow 
and  heaviness,  yet  was  the  thing  that  we  chiefly  thought 
upon,  not  the  tribulation  itself,  but  the  comfort  that  may 
grow  thereon.  And  therefore  am  I  now  very  glad  that 
you  be  come  to  finish  up  the  remnant. 

VINCENT. — Of  truth,  my  good  uncle,  it  was  comfort 
able  to  me,  and  hath  been  since  to  some  other  of  your 
friends,  to  whom,  as  my  poor  wit  and  remembrance 
would  serve  me,  I  did,  and  not  needless,  report  and  re 
hearse  your  most  comfortable  counsel.  And  now  come 
I  for  the  remnant,  and  am  very  joyful  that  I  find  you  so 
well  refreshed,  and  so  ready  thereto.  But  this  one  thing, 
good  uncle,  I  beseech  you  heartily,  that  if  for  delight 
to  hear  you  speak  in  the  matter  I  forget  myself  and  you 
both,  and  put  you  to  too  much  pain,  remember  you  your 
own  ease,  and  when  you  lust  to  leave,  command  me  to 
go  my  way  and  to  seek  some  other  time. 

ANTONY. — Forsooth,  cousin,  many  words,  if  a  man 
were  weak,  spoken,  as  you  said  right  now,  without  in- 
terpausing,  would  peradventure  at  length  somewhat  weary 
him.  And  therefore  wished  I  the  last  time  after  you 
were  gone,  when  I  felt  myself  (to  say  the  truth)  even  a 
little  weary,  that  I  had  not  so  told  you  still  a  long  tale 
alone,  but  that  we  had  more  often  interchanged  words, 
and  parted  the  talking  between  us,  with  ofter  inter- 
parling  upon  your  part,  in  such  manner  as  learned  men 
use  between  the  persons  whom  they  devise  disputing  in 
their  famed  dialogues.  But  yet  in  that  point  1  soon  ex 
cused  you,  and  laid  the  lack  even  where  I  found  it,  and 
that  was  even  upon  mine  own  neck.  For  I  remembered 
that  between  you  and  me  it  fared,  as  it  did  once  between 
a  nun  and  her  brother.  Very  virtuous  was 
this  lady,  and  of  a  very  virtuous  place  in  a 
close  religion,  and  therein  had  been  long,  in  all  which 
time  she  had  never  seen  her  brother,  which  was  in  like 
wise  very  virtuous,  and  had  been  far  off*  at  an  university, 
and  had  there  taken  the  degree  of  doctor  in  divinity. 
G  2 


When  he  was  come  home  he  went  to  see  his  sister,  as 
he  that  highly  rejoiced  in  her  virtue.     So  carne  she  to  the 

frate  that  they  call,  I  trow,  the  locutory,  and  after  their 
oly  watch-word  spoken  on  both  sides,  after  the  manner 
used  in  that  place,  the  one  took  the  other  by  the  tip 
of  the  finger  (for  hand  would  there  be  none  wrongen 
through  the  grate),  and  forthwith  began  my  lady  to  give 
her  brother  a  sermon  of  the  wretchedness  of  this  world, 
and  the  frailty  of  the  flesh,  and  the  subtle  flights  of  the 
wicked  fiend,  and  gave  him  surely  good  counsel,  saving 
somewhat  too  long,  how  he  should  be  well  ware  in  his 
living,  and  master  well  his  body  for  saving  of  his  soul ; 
and  yet,  ere  her  own  tale  came  all  at  an  end,  she  began 
to  find  a  little  fault  with  him,  and  said  :  "  In  good  faith, 
brother,  I  do  somewhat  marvel  that  you,  that  have  been 
at  learning  so  long,  and  are  doctor,  and  so  learned  in 
the  law  of  God,  do  not  now  at  our  meeting  (seeing  we 
meet  so  seldom),  to  me  that  am  your  sister  and  a  simple 
unlearned  soul,  give  of  your  charity  some  fruitful  exhor 
tation.  For  I  doubt  not  but  you  can  say  some  good 
thing  yourself."  "  By  my  troth,  good  sister,"  quoth  her 
brother,  "  I  can  not  for  you.  For  your  tongue  hath  never 
ceased,  but  said  enough  for  us  both."  And  so,  cousin,  I 
remember,  that  when  I  was  fallen  in,  I  left  you  little 
space  to  say  aught  between.  But  now,  will  I,  therefore, 
take  another  way  with  you ;  for  I  shall  of  our  talking 
drive  you  to  the  one- half. 

VINCENT. — Now  forsooth,  uncle,  this  was  a  merry  tale. 
But  now  if  you  make  me  talk  the  one-half,  then  shall 
you  be  contented  far  otherwise  than  there  was  of  late  a 
kinswoman  of  your  own,  but  which  I  will  not  tell 
you ;  guess  her  an  you  can.  Her  husband  another  mmp 
had  much  pleasure  in  the  manner  arid  beha-  'est- 
viour  of  another  honest  man,  and  kept  him  therefore 
much  company ;  by  the  reason  whereof  he  was  at  his 
mealtime  the  more  often  from  home.  So  happened  it 
on  a  time,  that  his  wife  and  he  together  dined  or  supped 
with  that  neighbour  of  theirs,  and  then  she  made  a  merry 
quarrel  to  him  for  making  her  husband  so  good  cheer 
out  a-door,  that  she  could  not  have  him  at  home.  "  For- 


sooth,  mistress,"  quoth  he  (as  he  was  a  dry  merry  man), 
"  in  my  company  nothing  keepeth  him  but  one;  serve 
you  him  with  the  same,  and  he  will  never  be  from  you." 
"What  gay  thing  may  that  be?"  quoth  our  cousin  then. 
"  Forsooth  mistress,"  quoth  he,  "  your  husband  loveth 
well  to  talk,  and  when  he  sitteth  with  me,  I  let  him  have 
all  the  words."  "  All  the  words  ! "  quoth  she.  "  Many  that 
I  am  content,  he  shall  have  all  the  words  with  a  good 
will,  as  he  hath  ever  had.  For  I  speak  them  not  all  to 
myself,  but  give  them  all  to  him ;  and  for  aught  that  I 
care  for  them,  he  shall  have  them  still.  But  otherwise  to 
say,  that  he  shall  have  them  all,  you  shall  rather  keep  him 
still,  than  he  shall  get  the  one-half  at  my  hands." 

ANTONY. — Forsooth,  cousin,  I  can  soon  gues§  which 
of  our  kin  she  was.  I  would  we  had  none  therein  (for 
all  her  merry  words)  that  less  would  let  their  husbands 
to  talk. 

VINCENT. — Forsooth  she  is  not  so  merry,  but  she  is  as 
good.  But  where  you  find  fault,  uncle,  that  I  speak  not 
enough,  I  was  in  good  faith  ashamed,  that  I  spake  so 
much,  and  moved  you  such  questions,  as  I  found  upon 
your  answer  (might  better  have  been  spared)  they  were 
so  little  worth.  But  now  sith  I  see  you  be  so  well  con 
tent,  that  I  shall  not  forbear  boldly  to  shew  my  folly,  I 
will  be  no  more  shamefast,  but  ask  you  what  me  list. 



Whether  a  man  may  not  in  Tribulation  use  some  worldly 
recreation  for  his  Comfort. 

ND  first,  good  uncle,  ere  we  proceed  far 
ther,  I  will  be  bold  to  move  you  one 
thing  more  of  that  we  talked  when  I  was 
here  before.  For  when  I  revolved  in  my 
mind  again  the  things  that  were  con 
cluded  here  by  you,  methought  ye  would 
in  nowise,  that  in  any  tribulation  men  should  seek  for 
comfort  either  in  worldly  thing  or  fleshly,  which  mind, 
uncle,  of  yours,  seemeth  somewhat  hard.  For  a  merry 
tale  with  a  friend  refresheth  a  man  much,  and  without 
any  harm  lighteth  his  mind,  and  amendeth  his  courage 
and  stomach ;  so  that  it  seemeth  but  well  done  to  take 
such  recreation.  And  Solomon  saith,  I  trow,  that  men 
should  in  heaviness  give  the  sorry  man  wine,  to  make 
him  forget  his  sorrow.*  And  St.  Thomas  saith,  that 
proper  pleasant  talking,  which  is  called  EvrpaTrtXiarf  is 
a  good  virtue,  serving  to  refresh  the  mind,  and  make  it 
quick  and  lusty  to  labour  and  study  again,  where  con 
tinual  fatigation  would  make  it  dull  and  deadly. 

ANTONY. — Cousin,  I  forgat  not  that  point,  but  I  longed 
not  much  to  touch  it.  For  neither  might  I  well  utterly 
forbid  it,  where  the  cause  might  hap  to  fall  that  it  should 
not  hurt;  and  on  the  other  side  if  the  case  so  should  fall, 
methought  yet  I  should  little  need  to  give  any  counsel 
to  it.  Folk  are  prone  enough  to  such  fantasies  of  their 

*  Proverb,  xxxi.  t    Second.  2,  q.  168,  art.  2. 


own  mind.  You  may  see  this  by  ourself,  which  coming 
now  together,  to  talk  of  is  earnest  sad  matter  as  men 
can  devise,  were  fallen  yet  even  at  the  first  into  wanton 
idle  tales.  And  of  truth,  cousin,  as  you  know  very  well, 
myself  are  of  nature  even  half  a  gigglot  and  more.  I 
would  I  could  as  easily  mend  my  fault,  as  I  can  well 
know  it;  but  scant  can  I  refrain  it,  as  old  a  fool  as 
I  am. 

Howbeit  so  partial  will  I  not  be  to  my  fault,  as  to 
praise  it;  but  for  that  you  require  my  mind  in  the  matter, 
whether  men  in  tribulation  may  not  lawfully  seek  recrea 
tion,  and  comfort  themself  with  some  honest  mirth  :  first, 
agree  that  our  chief  comfort  must  be  in  God,  and  that 
with  him  we  must  begin,  and  with  him  continue,  and  with 
him  end  also  :  a  man  to  take  now  and  then  Jjoncst 

some  honest  worldly  mirth,  I  dare  not  be  so 
sore  as  utterly  to  forbid  it,  sith  good  men  and  well- 
learned  have  in  some  case  allowed  it,  specially  for  the 
diversity  of  divers  men's  minds.  For  else,  if  we  were  all 
such,  as  would  God  we  were  !  and  such  as  natural  wis 
dom  would  we  should  be,  and  is  not  all  clean  excusable 
that  we  be  not  in  deed  :  I  would  then  put  no  doubt,  but 
that  unto  any  man  the  most  comfortable  talk-  ^ 

,  ill  i  r  OUt  tJtOStCOttt' 

ing  that  could  be  were  to  hear  or  heaven:  fortatie  taift 
whereas  now,  God  help  us!  our  wretchedness  ojJJ  an&eijea> 
is  such,  that  in  talking  a  while  thereof,  men  *en- 
wax  almost  weary,  and  as  though  to  hear  of  heaven  were 
an  heavy  burden,  they  must  refresh  themself  after  with  a 
foolish  tale.  Our  affection  toward  heavenly  joys  waxeth 
vronderful  cold.  If  dread  of  hell  were  as  far  gone,  very 
few  would  fear  God  :  but  that  yet  a  little  sticketh  in  our 
stomachs.  Mark  me,  cousin,  at  the  sermon,  and  com 
monly  towards  the  end,  somewhat  the  preacher  speaketh 
of  hell  and  heaven.  Now,  while  he  preacheth  of  the  pains 
of  hell,  still  they  stand  yet  and  give  him  the  hearing  ;  but 
as  soon  as  he  cometh  to  the  joys  of  heaven,  they  be 
busking  them  backward  and  flock-meal  fall  away.  It  is 
in  the  soul  somewhat  as  it  is  in  the  body.  Some  are 
there  of  stature,  or  of  evil  custom,  come  to  that  point, 
that  a  worse  thing  sometime  steadeth  them  more  than 


a  better.  Some  man,  if  he  be  sick,  can  away  with  no 
wholesome  meat,  nor  no  medicine  can  go  down  with  him, 
but  if  it  be  tempered  with  some  such  thing  for  his  fan 
tasy,  as  maketh  the  meat  or  the  medicine  less  wholesome 
than  it  should  be.  And  yet  while  it  will  be  no  better, 
we  must  let  him  have  it  so.  Cassianus,  that  very  vir 
tuous  man,  rehearseth  in  a  certain  collection  of  his,*  that 
a  certain  holy  father,  in  making  of  a  sermon,  spake  of 
heaven  and  heavenly  things  so  celestially,  that  much  of 
his  audience  with  the  sweet  sound  thereof  began  to 
forget  all  the  world,  and  fall  asleep.  Which,  when  the 
father  beheld,  he  dissembled  their  sleeping,  and  suddenly 
said  unto  them,  I  shall  tell  you  a  merry  tale.  At  which 
word,  they  lifted  up  their  heads  and  harkened  unto  that. 
And  after  the  sleep  therewith  broken,  heard  him  tell  on 
of  heaven  again.  In  what  wise  that  good  father  rebuked 
them  their  untoward  minds,  so  dull  unto  the  thing  that 
all  our  life  we  labour  for,  and  so  quick  and  lusty  toward 
other  trifles,  I  neither  bear  in  mind,  nor  shall  here  need 
to  rehearse.  But  thus  much  of  the  matter  sufficeth  for 
our  purpose,  that  whereas  you  demand  me  whether  in 
tribulation  men  may  not  sometime  refresh  themself  with 
worldly  mirth  and  recreation ;  I  can  no  more  say,  but  he 
that  cannot  long  endure  to  hold  up  his  head  and  hear 
talking  of  heaven,  except  he  be  now  and  then  between 
(as  though  to  hear  of  heaven  were  heaviness)  refreshed 
with  a  merry  foolish  tale,  there  is  none  other  remedy, 
but  you  must  let  him  have  it.  Better  would  I  wish  it, 
but  1  cannot  help  it. 

Howbeit,  let  us  by  mine  advice  at  the  leastwise  make 
arte  rfjjfit  use  those  kinds  of  recreation  as  short  and  as  seld 
of  recreation.  as  we  caru  Let  them  serve  us  but  for  sauce, 
and  make  them  not  our  meat :  and  let  us  pray  unto  God, 
and  all  our  good  friends  for  us,  that  we  may  feel  such 
a  savour  in  the  delight  of  heaven,  that  in  respect  of  the 
talking  of  the  joys  thereof,  all  worldly  recreation  be  but 
a  grief  to  think  on.  And  be  sure,  cousin,  that  if  we 
might  once  purchase  the  grace  to  come  to  that  point,  we 
never  found  of  worldly  recreation  so  much  comfort  in 
*  Lib.  v.  cap.  31. 


a  year,  as  we  should  find  in  the  bethinking  us  of  heaven 
in  less  than  half  an  hour. 

VINCENT. — In  faith,  uncle,  I  can  well  agree  to  this: 
and  I  pray  God  bring  us  once  to  take  such  a  savour  in 
it.  And  surely,  as  you  began  the  other  day,  by  faith 
must  we  come  to  it,  and  to  faith,  by  prayer.  But  now 
I  pray  you,  good  uncle,  vouchsafe  to  proceed  in  our  prin 
cipal  matter. 



Of  the  short  uncertain  life  in  extreme  age  or  sickness. 

NTONY.— COUSIN,  I  have  bethought  me 
somewhat  upon  this  matter  since  we  were 
last  together.  And  I  find  it,  if  we  should 
go  some  way  to  work,  a  thing  that  would 
require  many  more  days  to  treat  thereof 
than  we  shall  haply  find  meet  thereto,  in 
so  few  as  myself  ween  that  I  have  now  to  live,  while 
every  time  is  not  like  with  me,  and  among  many  painful, 
in  which  I  look  every  day  to  depart,  my  mending  days 
coming  very  seld  and  are  very  shortly  gone.  For  surely, 
a  berp  BOOH  si*  cousin,  I  cannot  liken  my  life  more  meetly  now 
mtutuDc.  than  to  the  snuff  of  a  candle  that  burneth 
within  the  candlestick's  nose.  For  as  the  snuff  sometime 
burneth  down  so  low,  that  whoso  looketh  on  it  would 
ween  it  were  quite  out,  and  yet  suddenly  lifteth  a  flame 
half  an  inch  above  the  nose  and  giveth  a  pretty  short 
light  again,  and  thus  playeth  divers  times,  till  at  last  ere 
it  be  looked  for  out  it  goeth  altogether :  so  have  I,  cousin, 
divers  such  days  together,  as  every  day  of  them  I  look 
even  for  to  die  :  and  yet  have  I  then  after  that  time  such 
few  days  again,  as  you  see  me  now  to  have  yourself,  in 
which  a  man  would  ween  that  I  might  yet  well  continue. 
But  I  know  my  lingering  not  likely  to  last  long,  but  out 
will  my  snuff  suddenly  some  day  within  a  while,  and 
therefore  will  I  with  God's  help,  seem  I  never  so  well 
amended,  nevertheless  reckon  every  day  for  my  last, 
a  probert.  For  though  that  to  the  repressing  of  the  bold 
courage  of  blind  youth,  there  is  a  very  true  proverb,  that 


as  soon  cometh  a  young  sheep's  skin  to  the  market  as  an 
old ;  yet  this  difference  there  is  at  least  between  them, 
that  as  the  young  man  may  hap  sometime  to  die  soon,  so 
the  old  man  can  never  live  long.  And  therefore,  cousin, 
in  one  matter  here,  leaving  out  many  things  that  I  would 
else  treat  of,  I  shall  for  this  time  speak  but  of  very  few. 
Howbeit,  if  God  hereafter  send  me  moe  such  days,  then 
will  we,  when  you  list,  farther  talk  of  moe. 



Hedivideth  Tribulation  into  three  hinds,  of  which  three  the 
last  he  passeth  shortly  over. 

LL  manner  of  tribulation,  cousin,  that  any 
man  can  have,  as  far  as  for  this  time 
cometh  to  my  mind,  falleth  under  some  one 
at  the  least  of  these  three  kinds,  either  it 
is  such  as  himself  willingly  taketh,  or  se 
condly  such  as  himself  willingly  suffereth, 
or  finally  such  as  he  cannot  put  from  him.  This  third  kind 
I  purpose  not  much  more  to  speak  of  now.  For  thereof 
shall,  as  for  this  time,  suffice  those  things,  that  we 
treated  between  us  this  other  day.  What  kind  of  tribula 
tion  this  is,  I  am  sure  yourself  perceive.  For  sickness, 
imprisonment,  loss  of  goods,  loss  of  friends,  or  such 
bodily  harm  as  a  man  hath  already  caught,  and  can  in 
nowise  avoid,  these  things  and  such  like  are  the  third 
kind  of  tribulation  that  I  speak  of,  which  a  man  neither 
willingly  taketh  in  the  beginning,  nor  can,  though  he 
would,  put  afterward  away.  Now  think  I,  that  as  to  the 
man  that  lacketh  wit  and  faith,  no  comfort  can  serve, 
whatsoever  counsel  be  given :  so  to  them  that  have  both, 
I  have  as  for  this  kind  said  in  manner  enough  already. 
And  considering,  that  suffer  it  needs  he  must,  while  he 
can  by  no  manner  of  mean  put  it  from  him,  the  very  ne- 
ixtttssits  cessity  is  natf  counsel  enough,  to  take  it  in  good 
inatetf)  worth  and  bear  it  patiently,  and  rather  of  his 
tue'  patience  to  take  both  ease  and  thank,  than  by 
fretting  and  fuming  to  increase  his  present  pain,  and  by 
murmur  arid  grudge  fall  in  farther  danger  after  by  dis 
pleasing  of  God  with  his  froward  behaviour.  And  yet, 
albeit  that  I  think  that  that  which  is  said  sufficeth,  yet 
here  and  there  shall  I,  in  the  second  kind,  shew  some 
such  comfort  as  shall  well  serve  unto  this  last  kind  too. 



HE  first  kind  also  will  I  shortly  pass  over 
too.  For  the  tribulation  that  a  man  wil 
lingly  taketh  himself,  which  no  man 
putteth  upon  him  against  his  own  will,  is 
(you  wot  well)  as  I  somewhat  touched  the 
last  day,  such  affliction  of  the  flesh,  or  ex 
pense  of  his  goods,  as  a  man  taketh  himself,  or  willingly 
bestoweth  in  punishment  of  his  own  sin  and  for  devotion  to 
God.  Now  in  this  tribulation  needeth  he  no  man  to 
comfort  him.  For  while  no  man  troubleth  him  but  him 
self,  which  feeleth  him  far  forth  he  may  conveniently  bear, 
and  of  reason  and  good  discretion  shall  not  pass  that, 
wherein  if  any  doubt  arise,  counsel  needeth,  and  not 
comfort ;  the  courage  that  for  God's  sake  and  his  soul's 
health  kindleth  his  heart  and  enflameth  it  thereto,  shall 
by  the  same  grace  that  put  it  in  his  mind,  give  him  such 
comfort  and  joy  therein  that  the  pleasure  of  his  soul  shall 
pass  the  pain  of  his  body :  yea,  and  while  he  hath  in 
heart  also  some  great  heaviness  for  his  sin,  yet  when  he 
considereth  the  joy  that  shall  come  of  it,  his  soul  shall 
not  fail  to  feel  then  that  strange  case,  which  my  body  felt 
once  in  a  great  fever. 

VINCENT.— What  strange  case  was  that,  uncle  ? 
ANTONY. — Forsooth,  cousin,  even  in  this  same  bed  (it 
is  now  more  than  fifteen  years  ago)  I  lay  in  a  tertian,  and 
had  passed,  I  trow,  three  or  four  fits  :  but  after  fell  there 
one  fit  on  me  out  of  course,  so  strange  and  so  &  strange  et  of 
marvellous,  that  I  would  in  good  faith  have  a*mr- 
thought  it  impossible.     For  I  suddenly  felt  myself  verily 
both  hot  and  cold  throughout  all  my  body,  hot  in  some 


part  the  one,  and  in  some  part  the  other,  for  that  had  been, 
you  wot  well,  no  very  strange  thing  to  feel  the  head  hot 
while  the  hands  were  cold ;  but  the  self-same  parts,  I  say, 
so  God  my  soul  save !  I  sensibly  felt,  and  right  painfully 
too,  all  in  one  instant  both  hot  and  cold  at  once. 

VINCENT. — By  my  troth,  uncle,  this  was  a  wonderful 
thing,  and  such  as  I  never  heard  happen  any  man  else  in 
my  days ;  and  few  men  are  there,  of  whose  mouths  I  could 
have  believed  it. 

ANTONY. — Courtesy,  cousin,  peradventure,  letteth  you 
to  say,  that  you  believe  it  not  yet  of  my  mouth  neither  ; 
and  surely  for  fear  of  that,  you  should  not  have  heard  it 
of  me  neither,  had  there  not  another  thing  happed  me 
soon  after. 

VINCENT. — I  pray  you,  what  was  that,  good  uncle  ? 

ANTONY. — Forsooth,  cousin,  this  I  asked  a  physician 
or  twain,  that  then  looked  unto  me,  how  this  should  be 
possible ;  and  they  twain  told  me  both  that  it  could  not 
be  so,  but  that  I  was  fallen  into  some  slumber,  and 
dreamed  that  I  felt  it  so. 

VINCENT. — This  hap,  hold  I,  little  causeth  you  to  tell 
the  tale  the  more  boldly. 

ANTONY. — No,  cousin,  that  is  true,  lo.  But  then 
happed  there  another,  that  a  young  girl  here  in  this  town, 
whom  a  kinsman  of  hers  had  begun  to  teach  physic,  told 
me,  that  there  was  such  a  kind  of  fever  indeed. 

VINCENT. — By  our  Lady  !  uncle,  save  for  the  credence 
of  you,  that  tale  would  I  not  yet  tell  again  upon  that  hap 
of  a  maid.  For  though  I  know  her  now  for  such  as  I  durst 
well  believe  her,  it  might  hap  her  very  well  at  that  time  to 
lie,  because  she  would  you  should  take  her  for  cunning. 

ANTONY. — Yea,  but  there  happed  there  yet  another  hap 
thereon,  cousin,  that  a  work  of  Galen,  De  Differentiis 
Febrium,  is  ready  to  be  sold  in  the  booksellers'  shops. 
In  which  work  she  shewed  me  then  that  chapter  where 
Galen  saith  the  same. 

VINCENT. — Marry,  uncle,  as  you  say,  that  hap  happed 
well;  and  that  maid  hath  (as  hap  was)  in  that  one  point 
more  cunning  than  had  both  our  physicians  besides,  and 
hath,  I  ween,  at  this  day  in  many  points  more. 


ANTONY. — In  faith  so  ween  I  too  :  and  that  is  well 
wared  on  her;  for  she  is  very  wise  and  well  learned,  and 
very  virtuous  too.  But  see  now,  what  age  is,  lo  !  I  have 
been  so  long  in  my  tale,  that  I  have  almost  forgotten 
for  what  purpose  I  told  it.  Oh !  now  I  remember  me, 
lo.  Likewise  I  say,  as  myself  felt  my  body  then  both 
hot  and  cold  at  once ;  so  he,  that  is  contrite  and  heavy 
for  his  sin,  shall  have  cause  for  to  be,  and  shall  indeed  be, 
both  sad  and  glad,  and  both  twain  at  once,  and  shall  do, 
as  I  remember  holy  St.  Hierome  biddeth :  Et  doleas,  et 
de  dolore  gaudeas.  Both  be  thou  sorry,  saith  he,  and  be 
thou  of  thy  sorrow  joyful  also. 

And  thus,  as  I  began  to  say,  of  comfort  to  be  given 
unto  him  that  is  in  this  tribulation,  that  is  to  wit,  in  fruit 
ful  heaviness  and  penance  for  his  sin,  shall  we  none  heed 
to  give  other  than  only  to  remember  and  consider  Well 
the  goodness  of  God's  excellent  mercy,  that  infinitely 
passeth  the  malice  of  all  men's  sin,  by  which  he  is  ready 
to  receive  every  man,  and  did  spread  his  arms  abroad  upon 
the  cross,  lovingly  to  embrace  all  them  that  will  come, 
and  even  there  accepted  the  thief  at  his  last  end  that 
turned  not  to  God  till  he  might  steal  no  longer,  and  yet 
maketh  more  feast  in  heaven  at  one  that  from  sin  turneth, 
than  of  ninety  and  nine  good  men  that  sinned  not  at  all.* 
And  therefore  of  that  first  kind  will  I  make  no  longer 




An  Objection  concerning  them  that  turn  not  to  God,  till 
they  come  at  the  last  cast. 

INCENT. — FORSOOTH,  uncle,  this  is  unto 
that  kind  comfort  very  great,  and  so  great 
also,  that  it  may  make  many  a  man  bold  to 
abide  in  his  sin,  even  unto  his  last  end, 
trusting  to  be  then  saved,  as  that  thief 

ANTONY. — Very  sooth  you  say,  cousin,  that  some 
wretches  are  there  such,  that  in  such  wise  abuse  the  great 
goodness  of  God,  that  the  better  that  he  is,  the  worse 
again  be  they.  But,  cousin,  though  there  be  more  joy 
made  of  his  turning  that  from  the  point  of  perdition 
cometh  to  salvation,  for  pity  that  God  had  and  his  saints 
all,  of  the  peril  of  perishing  that  the  man  stood  in  : 
yet  is  he  not  set  in  like  state  in  heaven  as  he  should  have 
been,  if  he  had  lived  better  before,  except  it  so  fall  that 
he  live  so  well  after,  and  do  so  much  good,  that  he  therein 
outrun  in  the  shorter  time  those  good  folk  that  yet  did 
not  so  much  in  much  longer,  as  is  proved  in  the  blessed 
apostle  St.  Paul,*  whiclT  of  a  persecutor  became  an 
apostle,  and  last  of  all  came  in  unto  that  office,  and  yet  in 
the  labour  of  sowing  the  seed  of  Christ's  faith,  outran  all 
the  remnant  so  far  forth,  that  he  letted  not  to  say  of 
himself,  Abundantius  illis  omnibus  labor  avi, — I  have  la 
boured  more  than  all  the  remnant  have.  But  yet,  my 
cousin,  though  God  (I  doubt  not)  be  so  merciful  unto 
them,  that  at  any  time  in  their  life  turn  and  ask  his 
*  i  Cor.  xv. 


mercy  and  trust  therein,  though  it  be  at  the  last  end  of 
a  man's  life,  and  hireth  him  as  well  for  heaven,  that 
cometh  to  work  in  his  vineyard  toward  night,  at  such 
time  as  workmen  leave  work  and  go  home  (being  then  in 
will  to  work  if  the  time  would  serve),  as  he  hireth  him 
that  cometh  in  the  morning :  yet  may  there  no  man 
upon  the  trust  of  this  parable  be  bold  all  his  life  to  lie 
still  in  sin.  For  let  him  remember,  that  into  God's  vine 
yard  there  goeth  no  man,  but  he  that  is  called  thither. 
Now,  he  that  in  hope  to  be  called  toward  night,  will  sleep 
out  the  morning,  and  drink  out  the  day,  is  full  likely 
to  pass  at  night  unspoken  to,  and  then  shall  he  with 
shrewd  rest  go  supperless  to  bed. 

They  tell  of  one  that  was  wont  alway  to  say,  that  all 
the  while  he  lived  he  would  do  what  he  list,  for  three 
words,  when  he  died,  should  make  all  safe  enough.  But 
then  so  happed  it,  that  long  ere  he  were  old,  his  horse 
once  stumbled  upon  a  broken  bridge,  and  as  he  laboured 
to  recover  him,  when  he  saw  it  would  not  be,  but  down 
into  the  flood  headlong  needs  he  should :  in  a  sudden 
flight  he  cried  out  in  the  falling,  Have  all  to  the  devil  ! 
And  there  was  he  drowned  with  his  three  words  ere  he 
died,  whereon  his  hope  hung  all  his  wretched  life.  And, 
therefore,  let  no  man  sin  in  hope  of  grace :  for  grace 
cometh  but  at  God's  will,  and  that  mind  may  be  the  let, 
that  grace  of  fruitful  repenting  shall  never  after  be  offered 
him,  but  that  he  shall  either  graceless  go  linger  on  care 
less,  or  with  a  care  fruitless,  fall  into  despair. 



An  Objection  of  them  that  say,  that  Tribulation  of  penance 
needeth  not,  but  is  a  superstitious  folly. 

INCENT. — FORSOOTH,  uncle,  in  this  point 
methinketh  you  say  very  well.  But  there 
are  they  some  again  that  say  on  the  tother 
side,  that  heaviness  of  our  sins  we  shall 
need  none  at  all,  but  only  change  our  pur 
pose  and  intend  to  do  better,  and  for  all 
that  which  is  passed,  take  no  thought  at  all. 
And  as  for  fasting  or  other  affliction  of  the 
of  our  time.  body,  they  say  we  should  not  do  it  but  only 
to  tame  the  flesh,  when  we  feel  it  wax  wanton  and  begin 
to  rebel.  For  fasting,  they  say,  serveth  to  keep  the  body 
in  a  temperance.  But  for  to  fast  for  penance,  or  to  do 
any  other  good  work,  alms-deed  and  other,  toward  satis 
faction  for  our  own  sin ;  this  thing  they  call  plain  injury 
to  the  passion  of  Christ,  by  which  only  are  our  sins  for 
given  freely  without  any  recompense  of  our  own.  And 
they  that  would  do  penance  for  their  own  sins,  look  to 
be  their  own  Christs,  and  pay  their  own  ransoms,  and 
Efjese  reasons  save  their  souls  themself.  And  with  these 
5[J85ia«?  tjltt  reasons  in  Saxony,  many  cast  fasting  off, 
Saionp.  and  all  other  bodily  affliction,  save  only  where 

need  requireth  to  bring  the  body  to  temperance.  For 
other  good,  they  say,  can  it  none  do  to  ourself;  and 
then  to  our  neighbour  can  it  do  none  at  all,  and  there 
fore  they  condemn  it  for  superstitious  folly.  Now,  heavi 
ness  of  heart  and  weeping  for  our  sins,  this  they  reckon 
shame  almost  and  womanish  peevishness.  Howbeit 


(thanked  be  God  !)  their  women  wax  there  gttc$  mannfsi» 
now  so  mannish,  that  they  be  not  peevish,  nor  fj""^^  not 
so  poor  of  spirit,  but  that  they  can  sin  on  as  oil 
men  do,  and  be  neither  afraid,  nor  ashamed,  nor  weep 
for  their  sins  at  all.  And  surely,  mine  uncle,  I  have  mar 
velled  much  the  less  ever  since  that  I  heard  the  manner 
of  their  preachers  there.  For,  as  you  remember,  when  I 
was  in  Saxony,  these  matters  were  in  manner  but  in  u 
mammering,  nor  Luther  was  not  then  wed  yet,  nor  reli 
gious  men  out  of  their  habit,  but  suffered  (where  those 
were  that  would  be  of  the  sect)  freely  to  preach  what  they 
would  to  the  people.  And  forsooth,  I  heard  a  religious 
man  there  myself,  one  that  had  been  reputed  and  taken 
for  very  good,  and  which,  as  far  as  the  folk  perceived, 
was  of  his  own  living  somewhat  austere  and  sharp,  but 
his  preaching  was  wonderful.  Methink  I  hear  him  yet, 
his  voice  was  so  loud  and  shrill,  his  learning  less  than 
mean.  But  whereas  his  matter  was  much  part  against 

fasting    and    all   affliction   for   any    penance. 

i  •   i      i  11    j  »      •  J     i  •   J   *  rtgfit   i3ro- 

which    he  called   men  s   inventions,    he  cried  tcstant  preacft- 

ever  out  upon  them,  to  keep  well  the  laws  of  tns> 
Christ.  Let  go  their  peevish  penance,  and  purpose  then 
to  mend,  and  seek  nothing  to  salvation  but  the  death 
of  Christ.  For  he  is  our  justice,  and  he  is  ^ese  fte  ^ 
our  Saviour,  and  our  whole  satisfaction  for  all  tjjat  sap,  ioi' 
our  deadly  sins.  He  did  full  penance  for  us  £?  SjeSV 
all  upon  his  painful  cross,  he  washed  us  there  <R^lst- 
all  clean  with  the  water  of  his  sweet  side,  and  brought 
us  out  of  the  devil's  danger  with  his  dear  precious  blood. 
Leave,  therefore,  leave,  I  beseech  you,  these  inventions 
of  men,  your  foolish  Lenten  fasts,  and  your  peevish 
penance,  minish  never  Christ's  thank,  nor  look  to  save 
yourself.  It  is  Christ's  death,  I  tell  you,  that  must  save 
us  all :  Christ's  death,  I  tell  you,  yet  again,  and  not  your 
own  deeds.  Leave  your  own  fasting,  therefore,  and  lean 
to  Christ  alone,  good  Christian  people,  for  Christ's  dear 
bitter  passion. 

Now  so  loud  and  so  shrill  he  cried  Christ  gg,?^^ 
in  their  ears,  and  so  thick  he  came  forth  with  pit  *J?  pretence 
Christ's  bitter  passion,  and  that  so  bitterly 

H  2 

100  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 

spoken,  with  the  sweat  dropping  down  his  cheeks,  that 
I  marvelled  not  though  I  saw  the  poor  women  weep. 
For  he  made  my  own  hair  stand  up  upon  my  head ;  and 
with  such  preaching  were  the  people  so  brought  in,  that 
some  fell  to  break  their  fasts  on  the  fasting  days,  not 
of  frailty  or  of  malice  first,  but  almost  of  devotion,  lest 
they  should  take  from  Christ  the  thank  of  his  bitter  pas 
sion.  But  when  they  were  a  while  nuselled  in  that  point 
first,  they  could  abide  and  endure  after  many  things  more, 
with  which  had  he  then  begun,  they  would  have  pulled 
him  down. 

(Sou  sens  tts  ANTONY.  —  Cousin,  God  amend  that  man, 
tetter  preac^  whatsoever  he  be,  and  God  keep  all  good  folk 
from  such  manner  of  preachers  !  Such  one 
preacher  much  more  abuseth  the  name  of  Christ  and  of 
his  bitter  passion,  than  five  hundred  hazarders  that  in 
their  idle  business  swear  and  forswear  themselves  by  his 
j^ibe  fwn&rcB  holy  bitter  passion  at  dice.  They  carry  the 
§?c?rSiaspiSeme  minds  of  the  people  from  the  perceiving  of 
mucfas^nc0  ^eir  craft,  by  the  continual  naming  of  the 
sucf) preacher,  name  of  Christ:  and  crying  his  passion  so 
shrill  into  their  ears,  they  forget  that  the  Church  hath 
ever  taught  them,  that  all  our  penance  without  Christ's 
true  &oo  passion  were  not  worth  a  pease.  And  they 
ma^e  the  people  ween,  that  we  would  be 
saved  by  our  own  deeds  without  Christ's 
death  :  where  we  confess,  that  his  only  passion  meriteth 
incomparably  more  for  us,  than  all  our  own  deeds  do : 
but  his  pleasure  is,  that  we  shall  also  take  pain  our  own 
self  with  him,  and  therefore  he  biddeth  all  that  will  be 
his  disciples,  take  their  crosses  upon  their  backs  as  he  did, 
and  with  their  crosses  follow  him.* 

And  where  they  say,  that  fasting  serveth  but  for  tem 
perance,  to  tame  the  flesh  and  keep  it  from  wantonness, 
I  would  in  good  faith  have  weened  that  Moses  had  not 
been  so  wild/t  that  for  the  taming  of  his  flesh  he  should 
have  need  to  fast  whole  forty  days  together.^  No  nor 
holy  neither,  nor  yet  our  Saviour  himself  which  began, 

*  Marc.  xv.  Matth.  xvi.  Luc.  ix.  f  Exod.  xxxiv. 

J  3  Reg.  xix. 


and  the  apostles  followed,  and  all  Christendom  have 
kept  the  Lenten  forty  days  fast,  that  these  folk  call  now 
so  foolish.  King  Achab*  was  not  disposed  to  be  wanton 
in  his  flesh,  when  he  fasted  and  went  clothed  in  sack 
cloth  and  all  besprent  with  ashes.  Nor  no  more  was  in 
Ninive  the  king  and  all  the  city,-f-  but  they  wailed,  and 
did  painful  penance  for  their  sin,  to  procure  God  to  pity 
them  and  withdraw  his  indignation.  Anna  J  that  in  her 
widowhood  abode  so  many  years  with  fasting  and  pray 
ing  in  the  Temple  till  the  birth  of  Christ,  was  not,  I 
ween,  in  her  old  age  so  sore  disposed  to  the  wantonness 
of  her  flesh,  that  she  fasted  all  therefor.  Nor  St.  Paul§ 
that  fasted  so  much,  fasted  not  all  therefor  neither.  The 
Scripture  is  full  of  places  that  prove  fasting  not  to  be  the 
invention  of  man,  but  the  institution  of  God,  and  that  it 
hath  many  mo  profits  than  one.  And  that  the  fasting 
of  one  man  may  do  good  to  another,  our  Saviour  sheweth 
himself,  where  he  saith,  that  some  kind  of  devils  cannot 
be  by  one  man  cast  out  of  another,  Nisi  in  oratione  et 
jejunio, — without  prayer  and  fasting.j] 

And  therefore  I  marvel  that  they  take  this  way  against 
fasting  and  other  bodily  penance,  and  yet  much  more  I 
marvel,  that  they  mislike  the  sorrow  and  heaviness  and 
displeasure  of  mind  that  a  man  should  take  in  forethink- 
ing  of  his  sin.  The  prophet  saith  :  Scindite  cor  da  vestra, 
et  non  vestimenta, — Tear  your  hearts  (he  saith)  and  not 
your  clothes. ^1  And  the  prophet  David  saith :  Cor  con- 
tritum  et  humiliatum,  Dem,  non  despicies, — A  contrite 
heart  and  an  humbled,**  that  is  to  say,  a  heart  broken, 
torn,  and  with  tribulation  of  heaviness  for  his  sins  laid 
alow  under  foot,  shalt  thou  not,  good  Lord,  despise. 
He  saith  also  of  his  own  contrition :  Laboravi  in  gemitu 
meo,  lavabo  per  singulas  nodes  lectum  meum,  lachrymis 
meis  stratum  meum  rigabo, — I  have  laboured  in  my  wail 
ing,  I  shall  every  night  wash  my  bed  with  my  tears,  my 
couch  will  I  water.ft  But  what  should  I  need  in  this 
matter  to  lay  forth  one  place  or  twain  ?  The  Scripture 
is  full  of  those  places,  by  which  it  plainly  appeareth,  that 

*  3  Reg.  xii.  f  Jonze  iii.  I  Luc.  iii.  §  2  Cor.  xi. 

||  Marc.  ix.  fl  Joel  ii.  **  Psal.  1.  ft  Psal.  vi. 

102  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 

God  looketh  of  duty,  not  only  that  we  should  amend  and 
<&o&  totiietf)  tis  be  better  in  the  time  to  come,  but  also  be 
anftti?to?fUtt?  sorry>  and  weep,  and  bewail  our  sins  com- 
s(ns-  mitted  before,  and  all  the  holy  doctors  be  full 

and  whole  of  that  mind,  that  men  must  have  (for  their 
sins)  contrition  and  sorrow  in  heart. 



What  if  a  man  cannot  weep,  nor  in  his  heart  be  sorry  for 
his  sin. 

INCENT. — FORSOOTH,  uncle,  yet  seemeth 
me  this  thing  somewhat  a  sore  sentence, 
not  for  that  I  think  otherwise,  but  that 
there  is  good  cause  and  great,  wherefore 
a  man  so  should  :  but  for  that  of  truth 
some  man  cannot  be  sorry  and  heavy  for 
his  sin  that  he  hath  done,  though  he  never  so  fain  would. 
But  though  he  can  be  content  for  God's  sake,  to  forbear 
it  from  thenceforth,  yet  for  every  sin  that  is  passed  can 
he  not  only  not  weep,  but  some  were  haply  so  wanton, 
that  when  he  happeth  to  remember  them,  he  can  scantly 
forbear  to  laugh.  Now,  if  contrition  and  sorrow  of  heart 
be  requisite  of  necessity  to  remission ;  many  a  man 
should  stand,  as  it  seemeth,  in  a  very  perilous  case. 

ANTONY. — Many  so  should  indeed,  cousin,  and  indeed 
many  so  do.  And  the  old  saints  write  very  sore  in  this 
point.  Howbeit,  Misericordia  Domini  super  omnia  opera 
ejus, — The  mercy  of  God  is  above  all  his  works,*  and  he 
standeth  bound  to  no  common  rule.  Et  ipse  cognovit 
jigmentum  suum,  et  propitiatur  infirmitatibus  nostris, — 
And  he  krioweth  the  frailty  of  this  earthen  vessel  that 
is  of  his  own  making,  and  is  merciful,  and  hath  pity  and 
compassion  upon  our  feeble  infirmities,f  and  shall  not 
exact  of  us  above  that  thing  that  we  may  do.  But  yet, 
cousin,  he  that  findeth  himself  in  that  case,  gote  toell  ^(s 
in  that  he  is  minded  to  do  well  hereafter,  let  B«OD  counsel. 
*  Psal.  cxliv.  f  Psal.  cii. 

104  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 

him  give  God  thanks  that  he  is  no  worse:  but  in  that 
he  cannot  be  sorry  for  his  sin  past,  let  him  be  sorry 
hardly  that  he  is  no  better.  And  as  St.  Jerome  biddeth 
him  that  for  his  sin  sorroweth  in  his  heart,  be  glad  and 
rejoice  in  his  sorrow  :  so  would  I  counsel  him  that  cannot 
be  sad  for  his  sin,  to  be  sorry  yet  at  the  least  that  he 
cannot  be  sorry. 

Besides  this,  though  I  would  in  nowise  any  man  should 
despair,  yet  would  I  counsel  such  a  man,  while  that 
affection  lasteth,  not  to  be  too  bold  of  courage,  but  live  in 
double  fear.  First,  for  it  is  a  token  either  of  faint  faith, 
or  of  a  dull  diligence.  For  surely  if  we  believe  in  God, 
and  therewith  deeply  consider  his  High  Majesty  with  the 
peril  of  our  sin,  and  the  great  goodness  of  God  also  : 
either  should  dread  make  us  tremble  and  break  our  stony 
heart,  or  love  should  for  sorrow  relent  it  into  tears.  Be 
sides  this,  I  can  scant  believe,  but  sith  so  little  misliking 
of  our  old  sin  is  an  affection  not  very  pure  and  clean,  and 
none  unclean  thing  shall  enter  into  heaven  ;  cleansed  shall 
it  be  and  purified,  before  that  we  come  thither.  And, 
therefore,  would  I  farther  advise  one  in  that  case,  the 
(Goon  counsel  counsel  which  M.  Gerson  giveth  every  man, 

wseesi  sons  t^iat  s^  ^e  kO(ty  and  the  soul  together  make 
m  our  stns.  the  whole  man,  the  less  affliction  that  he 
feeleth  in  his  soul,  the  more  pain  in  recompense  let  him 
put  upon  his  body,  and  purge  the  spirit  by  the  affliction 
of  the  flesh.  And  he  that  so  doth,  I  dare  lay  my  life, 
shall  have  his  hard  heart  after  relent  into  tears,  and  his 
soul  in  an  wholesome  heaviness  and  heavenly  gladness 
too,  specially  if,  which  must  be  joined  with  every  good 
thing,  he  join  faithful  prayer  therewith. 

But,  cousin,  as  I  told  you  the  other  day  before,  in  these 
matters  with  these  new  men  will  I  not  dispute.  But 
NO  tntsaom  to  surely  for  mine  own  part  I  cannot  well  hold 
opinions.^?  w'^  them.  For,  as  far  as  mine  own  poor  wit 
tofip-  can  perceive,  the  Holy  Scripture  of  God  is  very 

plain  against  them,  and  the  whole  corps  of  Christendom 
in  every  Christian  region,  and  the  very  places  in  which 
they  dwell  themselves,  have  ever  unto  their  own  days 
clearly  believed  against  them,  and  all  the  old  holy  doctors 


have  evermore  taught  against  them,  and  all  the  old  holy 
interpreters  have  construed  the  Scripture  against  them. 
And,  therefore,  if  these  men  have  now  perceived  so  late, 
that  the  Scripture  hath  been  misunderstanden  all  this 
while,  and  that  of  all  those  old  holy  doctors  no  man  could 
understand  it;  then  am  I  too  old  at  this  age  to  begin  to 
study  it  now.  And  trust  these  men's  cunning,  cousin, 
that  dare  I  not,  in  nowise,  sith  I  cannot  see  nor  perceive 
no  cause,  wherefore  I  should  think,  that  these  men  might 
not  now  in  the  understanding  of  Scripture,  faarfc  toeii  tfjts 
as  well  be  deceived  themself,  as  they  bear  us  reason- 
in  hand,  that  all  those  other  have  been  all  this  while 

Howbeit,   cousin,  if  so  it  be,  that  their  way  be  not 

wronsj.  but  that  they  have  found  out  so  easy 

*  ,i          ,  ,    ,    J,    (ftljrlst  fiiinself 

a  way  to  heaven,  as  to  take  no  thought,  but  sattfi,  tijat  tfje 

make  merry,  nor  take  no  penance  at  all,  but  sit  Hottojfca^n 
them  down  and  drink  well  for  our  Saviour's  Jj}^*"0113  an° 
sake,  sit  cock-a-hoop  and  fill  in  all  the  cups  at 
once,  and  then  let  Christ's  passion  pay  for  all  the  shot,  I 
am  not  he  that  will  envy  their  good  hap,  but  surely  counsel 
dare  I  give  no  man,  to  adventure  that  way  with  them.  But 
such  as  fear  lest  that  way  be  not  sure,  and  take  upon  them 
willingly  tribulation  of  penance,  what  comfort  they  do 
take  and  well  may  take  therein,  that  have  I  somewhat 
told  you  already.  And  sith  these  other  folk  sit  so  merry 
without  such  tribulation ;  we  need  to  talk  to  them,  you 
wot  well,  of  no  such  manner  comfort.  And  therefore  of 
this  kind  of  tribulation  will  I  make  an  end. 



Of  that  kind  of  Tribulation  which,  though  they  not  wil 
lingly  take,  yet  they  willingly  suffer. 

INCENT. — VERILY,  good  uncle,  so  may 
you  well  do  :  for  you  have  brought  it  unto 
very  good  pass.  And  now  I  require  you  to 
come  to  that  other  kind,  of  which  you  pur 
posed  alway  to  treat  last. 

ANTONY.  —  That  shall  I,  cousin,  very 
gladly  do.  The  other  kind  is  this,  which  I  rehearsed 
second,  and  sorting  out  the  other  twain,  have  kept  it  for 
the  last.  This  kind  of  tribulation  is,  you  wot  well,  of 
them  that  willingly  suffer  tribulation,  though  of  their 
own  choice  they  took  it  not  at  the  first. 
STrmptatfon.  This  kind,  cousin,  divide  we  shall  into 

Persecution.  twain.  The  first  might  we  call  temptation  : 
the  second,  persecution.  But  here  must  you  consider 
that  I  mean  not  every  kind  of  persecution,  but  that  kind 
only  which,  though  the  sufferer  would  be  loth  to  fall  in, 
yet  will  he  rather  abide  it  and  suffer,  than  by  the  flitting 
from  it  fall  in  the  displeasure  of  God,  or  leave  God's 
pleasure  unprocured.  Howbeit,  if  we  consider  these  two 
things  well,  temptation  and  persecution,  we  may  find 
that  either  of  them  is  incident  to  the  other.  For 
both  by  temptation  the  devil  persecuteth  us,  and  by 
persecution  the  devil  also  tempteth  us  ;  and  as  persecution 
is  tribulation  to  every  man,  so  is  temptation  tribulation  to  a 
good  man.  Now,  though  the  devil,  our  spiritual  enemy, 
fight  against  man  in  both,  yet  this  difference  hath  the 


common  temptation  from  the  persecution,  that  ^ototetn  1 1{ 
temptation  is,  as  it  were,  the  fiend's  train,  and  8itterseS!mpX> 
persecution  his  plain  open  fight.     And,  there-  secutton- 
fore,  will  I  now  call  all  this  kind  of  tribulation  here  by 
the  name  of  temptation,   and  that  shall  I  divide  into  two 
parts.     The  first  shall  I  call  the  devil's  trains  ;  the  other, 
his  open  fight. 

108  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 


First,  of  Temptation  in  general  as  it  is  common  to  both. 

,O  speak  of  every  kind  of  temptation  par 
ticularly  by  itself,  this  were,  you  wot  well, 
in  manner  an  infinite  thing.  For  under 
that,  as  I  told  you,  fall  persecutions  and 
all.  And  the  devil  hath  of  his  trains  a 
thousand  subtle  ways,  and  of  his  open  fight 
as  many  sundry  poisoned  darts.  He  tempteth  us  by  the 
Sunurp  fcin&s  world,  he  tempteth  us  by  our  own  flesh,  he 
of  temptation,  tempteth  us  by  pleasure,  he  tempteth  us  by 
pain,  he  tempteth  us  by  our  foes,  he  tempteth  us  by  our 
friends,  and,  under  colour  of  kindred,  he  maketh  many 
times  our  next  friends  our  most  foes.  For  as  our  Saviour 
saith,  Inimici  hominis,  domestici  ejust — A  man's  own  fami 
liar  friends  are  his  enemies.*  But  in  all  manner  of  so 
divers  temptations,  one  marvellous  comfort  is  this,  that 
with  the  more  we  be  tempted,  the  gladder  have  we  cause 
to  be.  For  St.  James  saith,  Omne  gaudium  existimate, 
fratres  mei,  quum  in  tentationes  varias  incideritis, — Esteem 

it  and  take  it,  saith  he,   my  brethren,  for  a 
©netnarbellous    ...          /•     n  •  i  r  11  •    A     j- 

comfort  tn  all  thing  ol  all  joy,  when  you  rail  into  divers  and 

temptation.  sundry  manner  of  temptations.f  And  no  mar 
vel  ;  for  there  is  in  this  world  set  up  as  it  were  a  game  of 
3ii)is  motor  is  wrestling,  wherein  the  people  of  God  come  in 
a  torestung.  on  the  one  side,  and  on  the  tother  side  come 
mighty  strong  wrestlers  and  wily,  that  is,  to  wit,  the  devils, 
the  cursed  proud  damned  spirits.  For  it  is  not  our  flesh 
alone  that  we  must  wrestle  with,  but  with  the  devil  too.  Non 

*  Matth.  x.  f  Jacob!  i. 


est  nobis  colluctatio  adversus  carnem  et  sanyuinem,  sed  ad 
versus  principes  et  potestates,  adversus  mundi  rectores  tene- 
brarum  harum,  contra  spiritualia  nequitice  in  ccelestibus, — 
Our  wrestling  is  not  here,  saith  St.  Paul,  against  flesh  and 
blood,  but  against  the  princes  and  potentates  of  these 
dark  regions,  against  the  spiritual  ghosts  of  the  air.*  But 
as  God  (unto  them  that  on  his  part  give  his  adversary  the 
fall)  hath  prepared  a  crown  :  so  he  that  will  not  wrestle, 
shall  none  have.  For,  as  St.  Paul  saith  :  Qui  certat  in 
agone,  non  coronabitur,  nisi  qui  leyitime  certaverit, — There 
shall  no  man  have  the  crown,  but  he  that  doth  his  devoir 
therefor,  f  according  to  the  law  of  the  game.  And  then,  as 
holy  St.  Bernard  saith  : — How  couldest  thou  fight  or 
wrestle  therefor,  if  there  were  no  challenger  against  thee, 
that  would  provoke  thee  thereto  ?  And,  therefore,  may  it 
be  a  great  comfort,  as  St.  James  saith,  to  every  man  that 
feeleth  himself  challenged  and  provoked  by  temptation  ; 
for  thereby  perceiveth  he,  that  it  cometh  to  his  course  to 
wrestle,  which  shall  be  (but  if  he  willingly  will  play  the 
coward  or  the  fool)  the  matter  of  his  eternal  reward  in 

*  Ephes.  vi.  f  2  Tim.  ii. 




A  special  Comfort  in  all  Temptation. 

UT  now  must  this  needs  be  to  man  an 
inestimable  comfort  in  all  temptation,  if 
his  faith  fail  him  not,  that  is,  to  wit,  that 
he  may  be  sure  that  God  is  alway  ready 
to  give  him  strength  against  the  devil's 
might,  and  wisdom  against  the  devil's 
trains.  For  as  the  prophet  saith:  Fortitudo  mea  et  laus 
mea  Dominus,  et  factus  est  mihi  in  salutem, — My  strength 
and  my  praise  is  our  Lord;  he  hath  been  my  safeguard.* 
And  the  Scripture  saith  :  Pete  a  Deo  sapientiam  et  dabit 
tibi, — Ask  wisdom  of  God,  and  he  shall  give  it  thee.t 
Ut  possitis  (as  St.  Paul  saith)  deprehendere  omnes  artes, — 
That  you  may  spy  and  perceive  all  the  crafts.  A  great 
comfort  may  this  be  in  all  kinds  of  temptation,  that 
(Soft's  ass(st=  ^oc^  nath  so  his  hand  upon  him  that  is  will- 
ance  tn  tempta-  ing  to  stand,  and  will  trust  in  him,  and  call 
upon  him,  that  he  hath  made  him  sure  by 
many  faithful  promises  in  holy  Scripture,  that  either  he 
shall  not  fall,  or  if  he  sometime  through  faintness  of 
faith  stagger  and  hap  to  fall,  yet  if  he  call  upon  God 
betimes,  his  fall  shall  be  no  sore  bruising  to  him,  but  as 
the  Scripture  saith:  Justus  si  ceciderit,  non  collidetur, 
quia  Dominus  supponit  manum  suam, — The  just  man, 
though  he  fall,  shall  not  be  bruised,  for  our  Lord  holdeth 
under  his  hand.J 

The  prophet  expresseth  a   plain  comfortable  promise 

*  Psal.  cxvii.  f  Jacob!  i.  I  Psal.  xxxvi. 


of  God  against  all  temptation,  where  he  saith:  Qui 
habitat  in  adjutorio  Altissimi,  in  protectione  Dei  ccdi  com- 
morabitur, — Whoso  dwelleth  in  the  help  of  the  highest 
God,  he  shall  abide  in  the  protection  or  defence  of  the 
God  of  heaven.*  Who  dwelleth  now,  good  cousin,  in  the 
help  of  the  high  God  ?  Surely  he  that  through  a  good 
faith  abideth  in  the  trust  and  confidence  of  God's  help, 
and  neither  for  lack  of  that  faith  and  trust 
in  his  help  falleth  desperate  of  all  help,  nor 
departeth  from  the  hope  of  his  help  to  seek 
himself  help  (as  I  told  you  the  other  day)  of  ^ tn  fjtin- 
the  flesh,  the  world,  or  the  devil. 

Now,  he  then  that  by  fast  faith  and  sure  hope  dwelleth 
in  God's  help,  and  hangeth  always  thereupon,  never  fall 
ing  from  that  hope;  he  shall,  saith  the  prophet,  ever 
abide  and  dwell  in  God's  defence  and  protection ;  that  is 
to  say,  that  while  he  faileth  not  to  believe  well  and  hope 
well,  God  will  never  fail  in  all  temptation  to  defend  him. 
For  unto  such  a  faithful  well-hoping  man  the  prophet 
in  the  same  psalm  saith  farther:  Scapulis  suis  obumbrabit 
tibi,  et  sub  pennis  ejus  sperabis, — With  his  shoulders  shall 
he  shadow  thee,  and  under  his  feathers  shalt  thou  trust. f 
Lo,  here  hath  every  faithful  man  a  sure  promise,  that  in 
the  fervent  heat  of  temptation  or  tribulation,  for  (as  I 
have  said  divers  times  before)  they  be  in  such  wise  coin 
cident,  that  every  tribulation  the  devil  useth  for  tempta 
tion  to  bring  us  to  impatience,  and  thereby  to  murmur, 
grudge,  and  blaspheme,  and  every  kind  of  temptation  is 
to  a  good  man  that  fighteth  against  it,  and  will  not  fol 
low  it,  a  very  painful  tribulation.  In  the  fervent  heat,  I 
say  therefore,  of  every  temptation,  God  giveth  the  faith 
ful  man  (that  hopeth  in  him)  the  shadow  of  his  holy 
shoulders,  which  are  broad  and  large,  suffi-  <gon's  SflOUi, 
cient  to  refrigerate  and  refresh  the  man  in  6ers- 
that  heat,  and  in  every  tribulation  he  putteth  his  shoulders 
for  a  defence  between.  And  then  what  weapon  of  the 
devil  may  give  us  any  deadly  wound,  while  that  impene 
trable  pavice  of  the  shoulder  of  God  standeth  ©oa's  padtcr  i 
alway  between  ? 

*  Psal.  xc.  f  Psal.  xc. 

112  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 

Then  goeth  the  verse  farther,  and  saith  unto  such  a 
faithful  man,  et  sub  pennis  ejus  sperabis, — thy  hope  shall 
be  under  his  feathers;  that  is,  to  wit,  for  the  good  hope 
thou  hast  in  his  help,  he  will  take  thee  so  near  him  into 
Co*  is  out  Dm  ^s  Protecti°n>  tnat  as  the  hen,  to  keep  her 
to  ftecp  us  from  young  chickens  from  the  kite,  nestleth  them 
together  under  her  own  wings:  so  fro  the 
devil's  claws,  the  ravenous  kite  of  this  dark  air,  the  God 
of  heaven  will  gather  his  faithful  trusting  folk  near  unto 
his  own  sides,  and  set  them  in  surety  very  well  and  warm 
under  the  covering  of  his  own  heavenly  wings.  And  of 
this  defence  and  protection  our  Saviour  spake  himself 
unto  the  Jews  (as  mention  is  made  in  the  Gospel  of  St. 
Matthew),  to  whom  he  said  in  this  wise :  Hierusalem, 
Hierusalem,  quce  occidis  prophetas,  et  lapidas  eos  qui  ad 
te  missi  suntj  quoties  volui  congregare  te  sicut  gallina  con- 
gregat  pullos  suos  sub  alas,  et  noluisti  ? — That  is  to  say, — 
Hierusalem,  Hierusalem,  that  killest  the  prophets,  and 
stonest  to  death  them  that  are  sent  unto  thee,  how  often 
would  I  have  gathered  thee  together,  as  the  hen  gather- 
eth  her  chickens  under  her  wings,  and  thou  wouldest 
aaiionrs  of  not?*  Here  are  words,  cousin  Vincent,  words 
peat  comfort.  of  no  little  comfort  unto  every  Christian  man  : 
by  which  we  may  see,  with  how  tender  affection  God  of 
his  great  goodness  longeth  to  gather  under  the  protec 
tion  of  his  wings,  and  how  often  like  a  loving  hen  he 
clocketh  home  unto  him  even  those  chickens  of  his  that 
wilfully  walk  abroad  in  the  kite's  danger,  and  will  not 
come  at  his  clocking,  but  ever  the  more  he  clocketh  for 
them,  the  farther  they  go  from  him.  And,  therefore,  can 
we  not  doubt,  if  we  will  follow  him,  and  with  faithful 
hope  come  run  unto  him,  but  that  he  shall  in  all  matter 
of  temptation  take  us  near  unto  him,  and  set  us  even 
under  his  wings,  and  then  are  we  safe,  if  we  will  tarry 
there.  For  against  our  will  can  there  no  power  pull  us 
thence,  nor  hurt  our  souls  there.  Pone  me  (saith  the 
prophet)  juxta  te,  et  cujusvis  manus  pugnet  contra  me, — Set 
me  near  unto  thee,  and  fight  against,  me  whose  hand 
that  will.f  And  to  shew  the  great  safeguard  and  surety 

*  Matth.  xxiii.  f  Job  xvii. 


that  we  shall  have,  while  we  sit  under  his  heavenly  fea 
thers,  the  prophet  saith  yet  a  great  deal  farther  :  In  vela- 
mento  alarum  tuarum  exultatio,  that  is,  to  wit,  that  we 
shall  not  only  (when  we  sit  by  his  sweet  side  under  his 
holy  wing)  sit  in  safeguard  ;  but  that  we  shall  also  under 
the  covering  of  his  heavenly  wings,  with  great  exultation 


*  Psal.  xxi. 




Of  four  kinds  of  Temptations,  and  therein  both  the  parts 
of  that  hind  of  Tribulation  that  men  willingly  suffer, 
touched  in  two  verses  of  the  Psalter. 

>OW  in  the  two  next  verses  following,  the 
prophet  briefly  comprehendeth  four  kinds 
of  temptation,  and  therein  all  the  tribula 
tion  that  we  shall  now  speak  of,  and  also 
some  part  of  that  which  we  have  spoken 
of  before.  And  therefore  I  shall  perad- 
venture,  except  any  farther  thing  fall  in  our  way,  with 
the  treating  of  those  two  verses,  finish  and  end  all  our 
matter.  The  prophet  saith  in  the  psalrn :  Scuto  circun- 
dabit  te  veritas  ejus,  non  timebis  a  timore  nocturno.  A 
sagitta  volante  in  die,  a  negotio  perambulante  in  tenebris, 
ab  incursu  et  dcemonio  meridiano  : — The  truth  of  God  shall 
compass  thee  about  with  a  pavice,  thou  shalt  not  be 
afraid  of  the  night's  fear,  nor  of  the  arrow  flying  in  the 
day,  nor  of  the  business  walking  about  in  darknesses, 
nor  of  the  incursion  or  invasion  of  the  devil  in  the  mid 
day.*  First,  cousin,  in  these  words — The  truth  of  God 
shall  compass  thee  about  with  a  pavice, — the  prophet  for 
the  comfort  of  every  good  man  in  all  temptation  and  in  all 
tribulation,  beside  those  other  things  that  he  said  before, 
that  the  shoulders  of  God  shall  shadow  them,  and  that 
also  they  should  sit  under  his  wing,  here  saith  he  farther, — 
The  truth  of  God  shall  compass  thee  with  a  pavice,  that 
is,  to  wit,  that  as  God  hath  faithfully  promised  to  protect 
and  defend  those  that  faithfully  will  dwell  in  the  trust  of 
*  Psal.  xc. 


his  help;  so  will  he  truly  perform  it.  And  thou  that 
such  one  art,  will  the  truth  of  his  promise  defend,  not 
with  a  little  round  buckler  that  scant  can  cover  the  head, 
but  with  a  long  large  pavice  that  covereth  all  along  the 
body,  made,  as  holy  St.  Bernard  saith,*  broad  above  with 
the  Godhead,  and  narrow  beneath  with  the  manhead,  so 
that  this  pavice  is  our  Saviour  Christ  himself.  And  yet 
is  this  pavice  not  like  other  pavices  of  this  world,  which 
are  not  made  but  in  such  wise  as,  while  they  defend  one 
part,  the  man  may  be  wounded  upon  another :  but  this 
pavice  is  such,  that  (as  the  prophet  saith)  it  shall  round 
about  inclose  and  compass  thee,  so  that  thine  enemy 
shall  hurt  thy  soul  on  no  side.  For,  scuto  (saith  he) 
circundabit  te  veritas  ejust — with  a  pavice  shall  his  truth 
environ  and  compass  thee  round  about.  And  then  conti 
nently  following,  to  the  intent  that  we  should  see  that  it 
is  not  without  necessity  that  the  pavice  of  God  should 
compass  us  about  upon  every  side,  he  sheweth  in  what, 
wise  we  be  by  the  devil  with  trains  and  assaults,  by  four 
kinds  of  temptations  and  tribulations,  environed  upon 
every  side.  Against  all  which  compass  of  temptations 
and  tribulations,  that  round  compassing  pavice  of  God's 
truth,  shall  in  such  wise  defend  us  and  keep  us  safe,  that 
we  shall  need  to  dread  none  of  them  all. 

*  Bernard,  in  Psal.  xc. 

116  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 


The  first  kind  of  the  four  Temptations. 

IRST  he  saith  :  Non  timebis  timore  noc- 
turno, — Thou  shalt  not  be  afraid  of  the 
fear  of  the  night.  By  the  night  is  there 
in  Scripture  some  time  understood  tribula 
tion,  as  appeareth  in  the  xxxivth  chapter 
of  Job :  Novit  enim  Deus  opera  eorum, 
idcirco  inducet  noctem, — God  hath  known  the  works  of 
them,  and  therefore  shall  he  bring  night  upon  them,  that 
is,  to  wit,  tribulation  for  their  wickedness.*  And  well 
you  wot,  that  the  night  is  of  the  nature  of  itself  very 
discomfortable  and  full  of  fear.  And  therefore  by  the 
night's  fear,  here  I  understand  that  tribulation  by  which 
the  devil,  through  the  sufferance  of  God,  either  by  himself, 
or  other  that  are  his  instruments,  tempteth  good  folk  to 
impatience,  as  he  did  Job.  But  he  that,  as  the  prophet 
saith,  dvvelleth  and  continueth  faithfully  in  the  hope  of 
God's  help,  shall  so  be  beclipped  in  on  every  side  with  the 
shield  or  pavice  of  God,  that  he  shall  have  no  need  to  be 
afeared  of  such  tribulation  that  is  here  called  the  night's 

B$e  night's         And  it  may  be  also  conveniently  called  the 

night's  fear  for  two  causes.     The  one,  for  that 

many  times  the  cause  of  his  tribulation  is  unto  him  that 

suffereth  it  dark  and  unknown ;  and  therein   varieth  it 

and   differeth  from  that  tribulation,  by  which  the  devil 

tempteth  a  man  with  open  fight  and  assault  for  a  known 

good  thing,  from  which  he  would  withdraw  him,  or  for 

*  Job  xxxiv. 


some  known  evil  thing,  into  which  he  would  drive  him  by 
force  of  such  persecution.  Another  cause,  for  which  it  is 
called  the  night's  fear,  may  be  for  that  the  night  is  so  far 
out  of  courage,  and  naturally  so  casteth  folk  in  fear,  that 
of  every  thing  whereof  they  perceive  any  manner  dread, 
their  phantasy  doubleth  their  fear,  and  maketh  them  often 
ween  that  it  were  much  worse  than  indeed  it  is.  The 
prophet  saith  in  the  Psalter  :  Posuisti  tenebras  et  facta 
est  nox,  in  ipsa  pertransibunt  omnes  bestice  sylvce.  Catuli 
leonum  rugientes,  qucerentes  a  Deo  escam  sibi : — Thou  hast, 
good  Lord,  set  the  darkness,  and  made  was  the  night, 
and  in  the  night  walk  all  the  beasts  of  the  wood.  The 
whelps  of  the  lions  roaring  and  calling  unto  God  for  their 

Now,  though  that  the  lions'  whelps  walk 
about  roaring  in  the  night  and  seek  for  their  mgeips 
prey,  yet  can  they  not  get  such  meat  as  they  noto> 
would  alway,  but  must  hold  themself  content  with  such 
as  God  suffereth  to  fall  in  their  way.  And  though  they 
be  not  ware  thereof,  yet  of  God  they  ask  it,  and  of  him 
they  have  it. 

And  this  may  be  comfort  to  all  good  men  in  ®omfott  aBa(nst 
their  night's  fear,  in  their  dark  tribulation,  UK  nfuflrs  fear. 
that  though  they  fall  into  the  claws  or  the  teeth  of 
those  lions'  whelps,  yet  shall  all  that  they  can  do  not  pass 
beyond  the  body,  which  is  but  as  the  garment  of  the 
soul.  For  the  soul  itself,  which  is  the  substance  of  the 
man,  is  so  surely  fenced  in  round  about  with  the  shield  or 
pavice  of  God,  that  as  long  as  he  will  abide  faithfully  in 
adjutorio  Altissimi  (in  the  hope  of  God's  help),  the  lions' 
whelps  shall  not  be  able  to  hurt  it.  For  the  great  lion  him 
self  could  never  be  suffered  to  go  farther  in  the  tribulation 
of  Job,f  than  God  from  time  to  time  gave  him  leave. 
And  therefore  the  deep  darkness  of  the  midnight  maketh 
men  that  stand  out  of  faith  and  out  of  good  hope  in  God, 
to  be  in  their  tribulation  far  in  the  greater  fear,  for  lack 
of  the  light  of  faith,  whereby  they  might  perceive  that 
the  uttermost  of  their  peril  is  a  far  less  thing  than  they 
take  it  for.  But  we  be  so  wont  to  set  so  much  by  our 
*  Psal.  ciii.  f  Job  i. 

118  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 

body  which  we  see  and  feel,  and  in  the  feeding  and  fos 
tering  whereof  we  set  our  delight  and  our  wealth,  and  so 
little,  alas !  and  so  seld  we  think  on  our  soul,  because  we 
cannot  see  that  but  by  spiritual  understanding,  and  most 
specially  by  the  eye  of  our  faith  (in  the  meditation  whereof 
we  bestow,  God  wot,  little  time),  that  the  loss  of  our  body 
we  take  for  a  sorer  thing  and  for  a  greater  tribulation  a 
great  deal  than  we  do  the  loss  of  our  soul. 

And  whereas  our  Saviour  biddeth  us,*  that  we  should 
not  fear  these  lions'  whelps  that  can  but  kill  our  bodies, 
and  when  that  is  done,  have  no  farther  thing  in  their 
power  wherewith  they  can  do  us  harm,  but  biddeth  us 
stand  in  dread  of  him,  which  when  he  hath  slain  the 
body,  is  able  then  beside  to  cast  the  soul  into  everlasting 
fire ;  we  be  so  blind  in  the  dark  night  of  tribulation,  for 
the  lack  of  full  and  fast  belief  of  God's  word,  that  whereas 
in  the  day  of  prosperity  we  very  little  fear  God  for  our 
soul,  our  night's  fear  of  adversity  maketh  us  very  sore  to 
fear  the  lion  and  his  whelps,  for  dread  of  loss  of  our 
bodies.  And  whereas  St.  Paul  in  sundry  places  sheweth 
us,  that  our  body  is  but  as  the  garment  of  the  soul ;  yet 
the  faintness  of  our  faith  to  the  Scripture  of  God  maketh 
us  with  the  night's  fear  of  tribulation  more  to  dread,  not 
only  the  loss  of  our  body  than  of  our  soul :  that  is,  to  wit, 
of  the  clothing,  than  of  the  substance  that  is  clothed 
therewith  :  but  also  of  the  very  outward  goods  that  serve 
for  the  clothing  of  the  body.  And  much  more  foolish  are 

we  in  that  dark  night's  fear,  than  were  he  that 
SuafntSltt-  could  forget  the  saving  of  his  body,  for  fear  of 

losing  his  old  rain-beaten  cloak,  that  is  but 
the  covering  of  his  gown  or  his  coat. 

Now  consider  farther  yet,  that  the  prophet  in  the  fore- 
remembered  verses  saith  not,  that  in  the  night  walk  only 
the  lions'  whelps,  but  also,  omnes  bestice  sylvarum, — all 
the  beasts  of  the  wood.  Now  wot  you  well,  that  if  a  man 
walk  through  the  wood  in  the  night,  many  things  may 
make  him  afraid,  which  in  the  day  he  would  not  be  afraid 
a  whit,  for  in  the  night  every  bush  to  him  that  waxeth 
once  afraid,  seemeth  a  thief. 

*  Matth.  x. 


I  remember,  that  when  I  was  a  young  man, 
I  was  once  in  the  war  with  the  king,  then  my 
master  (God  assoil  his  soul!)  and  we  were  camped  within 
the  Turk's  ground  many  a  mile  beyond  Belgrade,  which 
would  God  were  ours  now,  as  well  as  it  was  then  !  But 
so  happed  it,  that  in  our  camp  about  midnight,  there 
suddenly  rose  rumours  and  a  skry  that  the  Turk's  whole 
army  was  secretly  stealing  upon  us,  wherewith  our  noble 
host  was  warned  to  arm  them  in  haste,  and  set  themself 
in  array  to  fight.  And  then  were  scurrers  of  ours  that 
brought  these  sudden  tidings,  examined  more  leisurely  by 
the  council,  what  surety  or  what  likelihood  they  had 
perceived  therein.  Of  whom  one  shewed,  that  by  the 
glimmering  of  the  moon  he  had  espied  and  perceived  and 
seen  them  himself,  coming  on  softly  and  soberly  in  a  long 
range,  all  in  good  order,  not  one  farther  forth  than  the 
other  in  the  forefront,  but  as  even  as  the  thread,  and  in 
breadth  farther  than  he  could  see  in  length.  His  fellows 
being  examined  said  that  he  was  somewhat  pricked  forth 
before  them,  and  came  so  fast  back  to  tell  it  them  that 
they  thought  it  rather  time  to  make  haste  and  give  warn 
ing  to  the  camp,  than  to  go  nearer  unto  them  :  for  they 
were  not  so  far  off, but  that  they  had  yet  themself  somewhat 
an  imperfect  sight  of  them  too.  Thus  stood  we  watching 
all  the  remnant  of  the  night,  evermore  hearkening  when 
we  should  hear  them  come,  with  "  Hush,  stand  still,  me- 
think  I  hear  a  trampling;"  so  that  at  last  many  of  us 
thought  we  heard  them  ourself  also.  But  when  the  day 
was  sprongen,  and  that  we  saw  no  man,  out  was  our 
scurrer  sent  again,  and  some  of  our  captains  with  him,  to 
shew  them  whereabout  the  place  was  in  which  he  per 
ceived  them.  And  when  they  came  thither  they  found 
that  great  fearful  army  of  the  Turks  so  soberly  coming 
on,  turned  (God  be  thanked  !)  into  a  fair  long  hedge, 
standing  even  stone  still. 

And  thus  fareth  it  in  the  night's  fear  of  tribulation,  in 
which  the  devil  to  bear  down  and  overwhelm  with  dread 
the  faithful  hope  that  we  should  have  in  God,  casteth  in 
our  imagination  much  more  fear  than  cause.  For  while 
there  walk  in  the  night  not  only  the  lions'  whelps,  but 

120  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 

over  that,  all  the  beasts  of  the  wood ;  beside  the  beasts 
that  we  hear  roaring  in  the  dark  night  of  tribulation,  and 
fear  it  for  a  lion,  we  sometime  find  well  afterward  in  the 
day,  that  it  was  no  lion  at  all,  but  a  seely  rude  roaring 
ass :  and  the  thing  that  on  the  sea  seemeth  sometime  a 
rock,  is  indeed  nothing  else  but  a  mist.  Howbeit,  as  the 
prophet  saith  :  He  that  faithfully  dwelleth  in  the  hope  of 
God's  help,  the  pavice  of  his  truth  shall  so  fence  him  in 
round  about,  that  be  it  an  ass  colt,  or  a  lion^s  whelp,  a 
rock  of  stone,  or  a  mist,  non  timebit  a  timore  nocturno, — 
the  night's  fear  thereof  shall  be  nothing  dread  to  fear 
at  all. 



Of  Pusillanimity. 

JHEREFORE  find  I,  that  in  this  night's 
fear  one  great  part  thereof  is  the  fault  of 
Pusillanimity,  that  is,  to  wit,  feeble  and 
faint  stomach,  by  which  a  man  for  faint 
heart  is  afraid  where  he  needeth  not;  by 
reason  whereof  he  fleeth  oftentimes  for  fear 
of  that  thing  of  which  if  he  fled  not,  he  should 
take  no  harm  :  and  some  man  doth  sometime  by 
his  fleeing  make  his  enemy  bold  on  him  which  would  (if  he 
fled  not,  but  durst  abide  thereby)  give  over  and  flee  from 
him.  This  fault  of  pusillanimity  maketh  a  man  in  his 
tribulation  for  feeble  heart  first  impatient,  and  afterward 
oftentimes  driveth  him  by  impatience  into  a  contrary 
affection,  making  him  forwardly  stubborn  and  angry 
against  God,  and  thereby  to  fall  into  blasphemy,  as  do 
the  damned  souls  in  hell.  This  fault  of  pusillanimity  and 
timorous  mind  letteth  a  man  also  many  times  from  the 
doing  of  many  good  things,  which  (if  he  took  a  good 
stomach  to  him  in  the  trust  of  God's  help)  he  were  well 
able  to  do :  but  the  devil  casteth  him  in  a  cowardice,  and 
maketh  him  take  it  for  humility,  to  think  himself  inno 
cent  and  unable  thereto,  and  therefore  to  leave  the  good 
thing  undone,  whereof  God  oflereth  him  occasion,  and 
had  made  him  meet  and  convenient  thereto. 

But  such  folk  have  need  to  lift  up  their  hearts  and  call 
upon  God,  and  by  the  counsel  of  other  good  ghostly  folk 
cast  away  the  cowardice  of  their  own  conceit,  which  the 
night's  fear  by  the  devil  hath  framed  in  their  phantasy, 


and  look  in  the  Gospel*  upon  him  which  laid  up  his 
talent  and  left  it  unoccupied,  and  therefore  utterly  lost 
it,  with  a  great  reproach  of  his  pusillanimity,  by  which 
he  had  weened  he  should  have  excused  himself,  in  that 
he  was  afraid  to  put  it  forth  in  ure  and  occupy  it.  And 
all  this  fear  cometh  by  the  devil's  drift,  wherein  he  taketh 
occasion  of  the  faintness  of  our  good  and  sure  trust  in 
God.  And  therefore  let  us  faithfully  dwell  in  the  good 
hope  of  his  help,  and  then  shall  the  pavice  of  his  truth 
so  compass  us  about,  that  of  this  night's  fear  we  shall 
have  no  scare  at  all. 

*  Matth.  xxv. 



Of  the  Daughter  of  Pusillanimity,  a  Scrupulous  Conscience. 

JHIS  pusillanimity  bringeth  forth  by  the 
night's  fear,  a  very  timorous  daughter,  a 
seely  wretched  girl,  and  ever  puling,  that 
is  called  Scrupulosity,  or  a  scrupulous  con 
science.  This  girl  is  a  meetly  good  puz 
zle  in  a  house,  never  idle,  but  ever  occu 
pied  and  busy :  but  albeit  she  have  a  very  t 
gentle  mistress  that  loveth  her  well,  and  is 
well  content  with  that  she  doth,  or  if  it  be  not  all  well 
(as  all  cannot  be  always  well),  content  to  pardon  her  as 
she  doth  other  of  her  fellows,  and  so  letteth  her  know 
that  she  will ;  yet  can  this  peevish  girl  never  cease  whin 
ing  and  puling  for  fear  lest  her  mistress  be  alway  angry 
with  her,  and  that  she  shall  shrewdly  be  shent.  Were 
her  mistress,  ween  you,  like  to  be  content  with  this  con 
dition  ?  Nay,  verily.  I  knew  such  one  my- 

ir.       i  J    •   .      J  •  J      a  proper  tale, 

self,  whose  mistress  was  a  very  wise  woman, 

and  (which  thing  is  in  woman  rare)  very  mild,  and  also 
meek,  and  liked  very  well  such  service  as  she  did  her  in 
her  house,  but  this  continual  discomfortable  fashion  of 
hers  she  so  much  misliked,  that  she  would  sometime  say, 
"Eh  !  what  aileth  this  girl?  The  elvish  urchin weeneth  I 
were  a  devil,  I  trow.  Surely  if  she  did  me  ten  times 
better  service  than  she  doth,  yet  with  this  fantastical  fear 
of  hers  I  would  be  loth  to  have  her  in  my  house." 

Thus  fareth,  lo !  the  scrupulous  person,  which  frameth 
himself  many  times  double  the  fear  that  he  hath  cause, 
and  many  times  a  great  fear  where  there  is  no  cause  at 



all,  and  of  that  which  is  indeed  no  sin,  maketh  a  venial, 
and  that  that  is  venial,  imagineth  to  be  deadly.  And  yet 
for  all  that  falleth  in  them,  being  namely  such  of  their 
own  nature  as  no  man  long  liveth  without,  and  then  he 
feareth  that  he  be  never  full  confessed,  nor  never  full 
contrite,  and  then  that  his  sins  be  never  full  forgiven 
SEfie  common  him ;  and  then  he  confesseth,  and  confesseth 
SruJSotts  »cr-  again>  and  cumbereth  himself  and  his  con- 
sons,  fessor  both;  and  then  every  prayer  that  he 
saith,  though  he  say  it  as  well  as  the  frail  infirmity  of 
the  man  will  suffice,  yet  is  he  not  satisfied,  but  if  he 
say  it  again,  and  yet  after  that  again.  And  when  he 
hath  said  one  thing  thrice,  as  little  is  he  satisfied  with 
the  last,  as  with  the  first ;  and  then  is  his  heart  evermore 
in  heaviness,  unquiet,  and  in  fear,  full  of  doubt  and  dul- 
ness,  without  comfort  or  spiritual  consolation. 

With  this  night's  fear  the  devil  sore  troubleth  the  mind 
of  many  a  right  good  man,  and  that  doth  he,  to  bring 
him  to  some  great  inconvenience  :  for  he  will,  if  he  can, 
drive  him  so  much  to  the  fearful  minding  of  God's  rigor 
ous  justice,  that  he  will  keep  him  from  the  comfortable 
remembrance  of  God's  great  mighty  mercy,  and  so  make 
him  do  all  his  good  works  wearily,  and  without  consola 
tion  and  quickness. 

Moreover,  he  maketh  him  take  for  sin  something  that 
is  none,  and  for  deadly,  some  such  as  are  but  venial,  to 
the  intent  that,  when  he  shall  fall  in  them,  he  shall  by 
reason  of  his  scruple  sin,  where  else  he  should  not,  or  sin 
deadly  (while  his  conscience  in  the  deed  doing  so  gave 
him),  whereas  else  indeed  he  has  but  offended  venially. 
Yea,  and  farther,  the  devil  longeth  to  make  all  his  good 
works  and  spiritual  exercise  so  painful  and  so  tedious 
unto  him,  that  with  some  other  subtle  suggestion  or  false 
wily  doctrine  of  a  false  spiritual  liberty^  he  should  for 
the  false  ease  and  pleasure  that  he  should  suddenly  find 
therein,  be  easily  conveyed  from  that  evil  fault  into  a 
much  worse,  and  have  his  conscience  as  wide  and  as  large 
after,  as  ever  it  was  narrow  and  strait  before.  For  better 
is  yet  of  truth  a  conscience  a  little  too  strait,  than  a  little 
too  large.  My  mother  had,  when  I  was  a  little  boy,  a 


good  old  woman  that  took  heed  to  her  children,  they 
called  her  Mother  Maud:  I  trow,  you  have  heard  of 

VINCENT. — Yea,  yea,  very  much. 

ANTONY. — She  was  wont,  when  she  sat  by 
the  fire  with  us,  to  tell  us  that  were  children  tale- 
many  childish  tales.  But  as  Plinius  saith,  that  there  is 
no  book  lightly  so  bad,  but  that  some  good  thing  a  man 
may  pick  out  thereof  ;*  so  think  I  there  is  no  tale  so 
foolish,  but  that  yet  in  one  matter  or  other,  to  some  pur 
pose  it  may  hap  to  serve.  For  I  remember  me  that 
among  other  of  her  fond  childish  tales,  she  told  us  once, 
that  the  ass  and  the  wolf  came  on  a  time  to  confession 
to  the  fox.  The  poor  ass  came  to  shrift  in  the  Shrove 
tide,  a  day  or  two  before  Ash  Wednesday ;  but  the  wolf 
would  not  come  to  confession  until  he  saw  first  Palm 
Sunday  past,  and  then  foded  yet  forth  farther  until  Good 
Friday  came.  The  fox  asked  the  ass  before  he  began 
Benedicite,  wherefore  he  came  to  confession  so  soon  be 
fore  Lent  began.  The  poor  beast  answered  him  again; 
for  fear  of  deadly  sin,  and  for  fear  he  should  lose  his  part 
of  any  of  those  prayers  that  the  priest  in  the  cleansing 
days  prayeth  for  them  that  are  confessed  already.  There 
in  his  shrift  he  had  a  marvellous  great  grudge  in  his  in 
ward  conscience,  that  he  had  one  day  given  his  master 
a  cause  of  anger,  in  that  that  with  his  rude  roaring  before 
his  master  arose,  he  had  awaked  him  out  of  his  sleep, 
and  bereaved  him  out  of  his  rest.  The  fox  for  that  fault, 
like  a  good  discreet  confessor,  charged  him  to  do  so  no 
more,  but  lie  still  and  sleep  like  a  good  son  himself,  till 
his  master  were  up  and  ready  to  go  to  work,  and  so 
should  he  be  sure,  that  he  should  not  wake  him  no 

To  tell  you  all  the  poor  ass's  confession,  it  were  a  long 
work,  for  every  thing  that  he  did  was  deadly  sin  with 
him,  the  poor  soul  was  so  scrupulous.  But  his  wise  wily 
confessor  accounted  them  for  trifles,  as  they  were  indeed, 
and  sware  afterward  unto  the  bageard,  that  he  was  so 
weary  to  sit  so  long  and  hear  him,  that  saving  for  the 

*  Lib.  Hi.  epist.  5. 

126  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 

manners'  sake,  he  had  lever  have  sitten  all  the  while  at 
breakfast  with  a  good  fat  goose.  But  when  it  came  to 
the  penance  giving,  the  fox  found  that  the  most  weighty 
sin  in  all  his  shrift  was  gluttony,  and  therefore  he  dis 
creetly  gave  him  in  penance,  that  he  should  never  for 
greediness  of  his  own  meat  do  any  other  beast  any  harm 
or  hinderance,  and  then  eat  his  meat,  and  study  for  no 

Now,  as  good  Mother  Maud  told  us,  when  the  wolf 
came  to  confession  to  Father  Reynard  (for  that  was,  she 
said,  the  fox's  name)  upon  Good  Friday,  his  confessor 
shook  his  great  pair  of  beads  upon  him  almost  as  big  as 
bowls,  and  asked  him  wherefore  he  came  so  late?  "  For 
sooth,  Father  Reynard,"  quoth  the  wolf,  "  I  must  needs 
tell  you  the  truth :  I  come  (you  wot  well)  therefor,  I 
durst  come  no  sooner,  for  fear  lest  you  would  for  my 
Sucf)  Btostip  g^ttony  have  given  me  in  penance  to  fast 

tartars  ina&e  some  part  of  this  Lent."  "  Nay.  nay,"  quoth 
ttje  preparation  ^  ,,  *V  ,,  T  J>  J\^  f 

to  seisin  an&     rather  r  ox,  "I  am  not  so  unreasonable  :  for 

I  fast  none  of  it  myself.  For  I  may  say  to 
thee,  son,  between  us  twain  here  in  confession,  it  is  no 
commandment  of  God  this  fasting,  but  an  invention  of 
man.  The  priests  make  folk  fast  and  put  them  to  pain 
about  the  moonshine  in  the  water,  and  do  but  make  folk 
fools :  but  they  shall  make  me  no  such  fool,  I  warrant 
thee,  son.  For  I  eat  flesh  all  this  Lent,  myself  I.  How- 
beit,  indeed,  because  I  will  not  be  occasion  of  slander,  I 
therefore  eat  it  secretly  in  my  chamber,  out  of  sight  of 
all  such  foolish  brethren  as  for  their  weak  scrupulous 
conscience  would  wax  offended  withal,  and  so  would  I 
counsel  you  to  do."  "  Forsooth,  Father  Fox,"  quoth  the 
wolf,  "  and  so  I  thank  God  I  do,  so  near  as  I  can.  For 
when  I  go  to  my  meat,  I  take  none  other  company  with 
me,  but  such  sure  brethren  as  are  of  mine  own  nature, 
whose  consciences  are  not  weak,  I  warrant  you,  but  their 
stomachs  as  strong  as  mine."  "  Well  then,  no  force," 
quoth  Father  Fox. 
£ucf)  sure  tnow-  But  when  he  heard  after  by  his  confession, 

that  ne  was   so    &reat  a    ravener>   tnat   ne  de- 
voured  and  spent  sometime  so  much  victual 


at  one  meal,  as  the  price  thereof  would  well  find  some 
poor  man  with  his  wife  and  children  almost  all  the  week; 
then  he  prudently  reproved  that  point  in  him,  and 
preached  him  a  process  of  his  own  temperance,  which 
never  used,  as  he  said,  to  pass  upon  himself  the  value 
of  sixpence  at  a  meal,  no  nor  yet  so  much  neither.  "  For 
when  I  bring  home  a  goose,"  quoth  he,  "  not  out  of  the 
poulter's  shop,  where  folk  find  them  out  of  their 
feathers  ready  plucked,  and  see  which  is  the  fullest  and 
yet  for  sixpence  buy  and  choose  the  best,  but  out  of  the 
housewife's  house  at  the  first  hand,  which  may  somewhat 
better  cheap  afford  them,  you  wot  well,  than  the  poulter 
may,  nor  yet  cannot  be  suffered  to  see  them  plucked, 
and  stand  and  choose  them  by  day,  but  am  fain  by  night 
to  take  at  adventure,  and  when  I  come  home,  am  fain 
to  do  the  labour  to  pluck  her  myself:  yet  for  all  this, 
though  it  be  but  lean,  and  I  ween  not  well  worth  a  groat, 
serveth  it  me  somewhat,  for  all  that,  both  dinner  and 
supper  too.  And  therefore,  as  for  that  you  live  of  raven, 
therein  can  I  find  no  fault :  you  have  used  it  so  long, 

that    I  think   you  can  do  none  other.     And 

,,         ~  •      r>  11  PI-!-  i    futet  counsel 

therefore  were  it  folly  to  forbid  it  you,  and  for  a  tooiesf) 

(to  say  the  truth)  against  good  conscience  too.  conscicnce- 
For  live  you  must,  I  wot  well,  and  other  craft  can  you 
none;  and  therefore,  as  reason  is,  must  you  live  by  that. 
But  yet,  you  wot  well,  too  much  is  too  much,  and  mea 
sure  is  a  merry  mean,  which  I  perceive  by  your  shrift 
you  have  never  used  to  keep.  And  therefore,  surely,  this 
shall  be  your  penance :  that  you  shall  all  this  year  now 
pass  upon  yourself  the  price  of  sixpence  at  a  meal,  as 
near  as  your  conscience  can  guess  the  price." 

Their  shrift  have  I  shewed  you,  as  Mother  Maud  shewed 
it  to  us.  But  now  serveth  for  our  matter  the  conscience 
of  them  both,  in  the  true  performing  of  their  penance. 
The  poor  ass  after  his  shrift,  when  he  waxed  anhungered, 
saw  a  sow  lie  with  her  pigs  well  lapped  in  new  straw, 
and  near  he  drew  and  thought  to  have  eaten  of  the  straw. 
But  such  his  scrupulous  conscience  began  therein  to 
grudge  him.  For  while  his  penance  was,  that  for  greedi 
ness  of  his  meat  he  should  do  none  other  body  harm ;  he 


thought  he  might  not  eat  one  straw  thereof,  lest  for  lack 
of  that  straw  some  of  those  pigs  might  hap  to  die  for 
cold.  So  held  he  still  his  hunger,  till  one  brought  him 
meat.  But  when  he  should  fall  thereto,  then  fell  he  yet 
in  a  far  farther  scruple  ;  for  then  it  came  in  his  mind  that 
he  should  yet  break  his  penance,  if  he  should  eat  any  of 
that  either,  sith  he  was  commanded  by  his  ghostly  father, 
that  he  should  not  for  his  own  meat  hinder  any  other 
beast.  For  he  thought,  that  if  he  eat  not  that  meat, 
some  other  beast  might  hap  to  have  it,  and  so  should 
he  by  the  eating  of  it  peradventure  hinder  some  other. 
And  thus  stood  he  still  fasting,  till  when  he  told  the 
cause,  his  ghostly  father  came  and  informed  him  better, 
and  then  he  cast  off  that  scruple,  and  fell  mannerly  to 
his  meat,  and  was  a  right  honest  ass  many  a  fair  day 

The  wolf  now  coming  from  shrift  clean  soiled  from 
his  sins,  went  about  to  do,  as  a  shrewd  wife  once  told 
her  husband  that  she  would  do,  when  she  came  from 
shrift.  "  Be  merry,  man,"  quoth  she,  "  now; 
for  this  day  I  thank  God,  was  I  well  shriven, 
and  purpose  now  therefore  to  leave  off  all  mine  old  shrewd 
ness  and  begin  afresh." 

VINCENT. — Ah,  well,  uncle,  can  you  report  her  so? 
That  word  heard  I  her  speak,  but  she  said  it  in  sport  to 
make  her  good  man  laugh. 

ANTONY. — Indeed  it  seemed  she  spake  it  half  in  sport. 
For,  that  she  said  she  would  cast  away  all  her  shrewd 
ness,  therein  I  trow  she  sported;  but  in  that  she  said 
she  would  begin  it  all  afresh,  her  husband  found  that 
good  earnest. 

VINCENT. — Well,  I  shall  shew  her  what  you  say,  I 
warrant  you. 

ANTONY. — Then  will  you  make  me  make  my  word 
good ;  but  whatsoever  she  did,  at  the  least  wise  so  fared 
now  this  wolf,  which  had  cast  out  in  confession  all  his 
old  raven,  and  then  hunger  pricked  him  forward,  that 
(as  the  shrewd  wife  said)  he  did  indeed  begin  all  afresh. 
But  yet  the  prick  of  conscience  withdrew  and  held  him 
back,  because  he  would  not  for  breaking  of  his  penance, 


take  any  prey  for  his  mealtide  that  should  pass  the  price 
of  sixpence.  It  happed  him  then  as  he  walked  prowl 
ing  for  his  gear  about,  he  came  where  a  man  had  in 
few  days  before  cast  off  two  old,  lean,  and  lame  horses, 
so  sick,  that  no  flesh  was  there  almost  left  on  them,  and 
the  one,  when  the  wolf  came  by,  could  scant  stand  upon 
his  legs,  and  the  other  already  dead,  and  his  skin  ripped 
off  and  carried  away.  And  as  he  looked  upon  them,  sud 
denly  he  was  first  about  to  feed  upon  them,  and  whet 
his  teeth  on  their  bones.  But  as  he  looked  aside,  he 
spied  a  fair  cow  in  a  close  walking  with  her  young  calf 
by  her  side.  And  as  soon  as  he  saw  them,  his  conscience 
began  to  grudge  him  against  both  these  two  horses.  And 
then  he  sighed,  and  said  unto  himself:  "Alas!  wicked 
wretch  that  I  am,  I  had  almost  broken  my  penance  ere 
I  was  ware.  For  yonder  dead  horse,  because  I  never 
saw  no  dead  horse  sold  in  the  market,  and  I  should  even 
die  therefor,  by  the  way  that  my  sinful  soul  shall  to,  I 
cannot  devise  what  price  I  should  set  upon  him,  but  in 
my  conscience  I  set  him  far  above  sixpence,  and  there 
fore,  I  dare  not  meddle  with  him.  Now,  then,  is  yonder 
quick  horse  of  likelihood  worth  a  great  deal  of  money : 
for  horses  be  dear  in  this  country,  specially  such  soi't 
amblers ;  for  I  see  by  his  face  he  trotteth  not,  nor  can 
scant  shift  a  foot.  And  therefore,  I  may  not  meddle  with 
him,  for  he  very  far  passeth  my  sixpence.  But  kine  this 
country  here  hath  enough,  but  money  have  they  very 
little;  and  therefore,  considering  the  plenty  of  the  kine, 
and  the  scarcity  of  the  money,  as  for  yonder  peevish  cow 
seemeth  unto  me  in  my  conscience  worth  not  past  a 
groat,  an  she  be  worth  so  much.  Now,  then,  as  for  her 
calf,  is  not  so  much  as  she  by  half.  And  therefore,  while 
the  cow  is  in  my  conscience  worth  but  fourpence,  my 
conscience  cannot  serve  me  for  sin  of  my  soul  to  praise 
her  calf  above  twopence,  and  so  pass  they  not  sixpence 
between  them  both.  And  therefore,  them  twain  may  I 
well  eat  at  this  one  meal,  and  break  not  my  penance  at 
all."  And  therefore,  so  he  did,  without  any  scruple  of 

If  such  beasts  could  speak  now,  as  Mother  Maud  said 

130  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 

they  could  then,  some  of  them  would,  I  ween,  tell  a  tale 
almost  as  wise  as  this.  Wherein  save  for  the  minishing  of 
old  Mother  Maud's  tale,  else  would  a  shorter  process 
have  served  :  but  yet  as  peevish  as  the  parable  is,  in  this 
it  serveth  for  our  purpose,  that  the  night's  fear  of  a  con 
science  somewhat  scrupulous,  though  it  be  painful  and 
troublous  to  him  that  hath  it,  like  as  this  poor  ass  had 
here,  is  less  harm  yet,  than  a  conscience  over  large,  or 
such  as  for  his  own  fantasy  the  man  list  to  frame  himself, 
now  drawing  it  narrow,  now  stretching  it  in  breadth, 
a  cijebmi  con-  after  the  manner  of  a  cheverel  point,  to  serve 
science.  on  every  side  for  his  own  commodity,  as  did 

here  the  wily  wolf.  But  such  folk  are  out  of  tribulation, 
and  comfort  need  they  none,  and  therefore  are  they  out  of 
our  matter.  But  those  that  are  in  the  night's  fear  of  their 
own  scrupulous  conscience,  let  them  be  well  ware,  as  I 
said,  that  the  devil,  for  weariness  of  the  one,  draw  them 
not  into  the  other;  and  while  he  would  flee  from  Scylla, 
drive  him  into  Charybdis.  He  must  do  as  doth  a  ship 
a  gooa  stmiit-  that  should  come  into  an  haven,  in  the  mouth 
tu&e.  whereof  lie  secret  rocks  under  the  water  on 

both  sides.  If  he  by  mishap  entered  in  among  them  that 
are  on  the  one  side,  and  cannot  tell  how  to  get  out :  he 
must  get  a  substantial,  cunning  pilot  that  so  can  con 
duct  him  from  the  rocks  on  that  side,  that  yet  he  bring 
him  not  into  those  that  are  on  the  other  side,  but  can 
guide  him  in  the  midway. 

Let  them,   I   say  therefore,  that  are  in  the 
Counsel  fora  >          -  J,     . 

scrupulous  con-  troublous  iear  or  their  own  scrupulous  con 
science,  submit  the  rule  of  their  conscience  to 
the  counsel  of  some  other  good  man,  which,  after  the 
variety  and  the  nature  of  the  scruples,  may  temper  his 
advice.  Yea,  although  a  man  be  very  well  learned  him 
self,  yet  let  him  in  this  case  learn  the  custom  used  among 
physicians.  For  be  one  of  them  never  so  cunning,  yet  in 
his  own  disease  and  sickness  he  never  useth  to  trust  all 
an  example  of  *°  himself,  but  sendeth  for  such  of  his  fellows 
ptjjjstctans.  as  he  knoweth  meet,  and  putteth  himself  in 
their  hands  for  many  considerations,  whereof  they  assign 
the  causes,  and  one  of  the  causes  is  fear,  whereof  upon 


some  tokens  he  may  conceive  in  his  own  passion  a  great 
deal  more  than  needeth ;  and  then  were  it  good  for  his 
health,  that  for  the  time  he  knew  no  such  thing  at  all.  I 
knew  once  in  this  town  one  of  the  most  cunning  men  in 
that  faculty,  and  the  best  expert,  and  therewith  the  most 
famous  too,  and  he  that  the  greatest  cures  did  upon  other 
men,  and  yet  when  he  was  himself  once  very  sore  sick,  I 
heard  his  fellows  that  then  looked  unto  him,  of  all  which 
every  one  would  in  their  own  disease,  have  used  his  help 
before  any  other  man,  wish  yet  that  for  the  time  of  his  own 
sickness,  being  so  sore  as  it  was,  he  had  known  no  physic 
at  all,  he  took  so  great  heed  unto  every  suspicious  token, 
and  feared  so  far  the  worst,  that  his  fear  did  him  some 
time  much  more  harm,  than  the  sickness  gave  him  cause. 
And  therefore,  as  I  say,  whoso  hath  such  a  trouble  of 
his  scrupulous  conscience,  let  him  for  a  while  forbear 
the  judgment  of  himself,  and  follow  the  counsel  of  some 
other,  whom  he  knoweth  for  well  learned  and  virtuous, 
and  specially  in  the  place  of  confession  (for  there  is  God 
specially  present  with  his  grace,  assisting  his  holy  sacra 
ment),  and  let  him  not  doubt  to  acquiet  his  mind,  and 
follow  that  he  there  is  bidden,  and  think  for  a  while  less 
of  the  fear  of  God's  justice,  and  be  more  merry  in  the 
remembrance  of  his  mercy,  and  persevere  in  prayer  for 
grace,  and  abide  and  dwell  faithfully  in  the  sure  hope  of  his 
help.  And  then  shall  he  find  without  any  doubt,  that  the 
pavice  of  God's  truth  shall,  as  the  prophet  saith,  so  com 
pass  him  about,  that  he  shall  not  need  to  dread  this 
night's  fear  of  scrupulosity,  but  shall  have  afterward  his 
conscience  stablished  in  good  quiet  and  rest. 



Another  kind  of  the  night's  fear,  another  daughter  of  Pu 
sillanimity,  that  is,  to  wit,  the  horrible  temptation,  by 
which  some  folk  are  tempted  to  kill  and  destroy  themself. 

INCENT. — VERILY,  good  uncle,  you  have 
in  my  mind,  well  declared  these  kinds  of 
the  night's  fear. 

ANTONY. — Surely,  cousin, but  yet  are  there 
many  more  than  1  can  either  remember,  or 
find  :  howbeit,  one  yet  cometh  to  my  mind 
now,  of  which  I  before  nothing  thought,  and  which  is  yet, 
in  mine  opinion,  of  all  other  fears  the  most  horrible  :  that 
is,  to  wit,  cousin,  where  the  devil  tempteth  a  man  to  kill 
and  destroy  himself. 

VINCENT. — Undoubtedly  this  kind  of  tribu 
te  most  i)orrf=  J  , 
tie  fear  anu  se*   lation   is   marvellous    and    strange,    and   the 

temptation.  temptation  is  of  such  a  sort,  that  some  men 
have  opinion,  that  such  as  fall  once  in  that  fantasy,  can 
never  after  full  cast  it  off. 

ANTONY. — Yes,  yes,  cousin,  many  a  hundred,  or  else 
God  forbid  !  But  the  thing  that  maketh  men  so  say,  is 
because  that  of  those  which  finally  do  destroy  themself, 
there  is  much  speech  and  much  wondering,  as  it  is  well 
worthy :  but  many  a  good  man,  and  many  a  good  woman, 
hath  sometime,  yea  divers  years  each  after  other,  conti 
nually  been  tempted  thereto,  and  yet  have  by  grace  and 
good  counsel,  well  and  virtuously  withstanden  it,  and 
been  in  conclusion  clearly  delivered  of  it,  and  their  tri 
bulation  nothing  known  abroad,  and  therefore  nothing 


talked  of.  But  surely,  cousin,  an  horrible  sore  trouble  it 
is  to  any  man  or  woman  that  the  devil  tempteth  there 
with.  Many  have  I  heard  of,  and  with  some  have  I 
talked  myself,  that  have  been  sore  encumbered  with  that 
temptation,  and  marked  have  I  not  a  little  the  manner  of 

VINCENT. — I  require  you,  good  uncle,  shew  me  some 
what  of  such  things  as  you  perceive  therein.  For  first, 
where  you  call  this  kind  of  temptation  the  daughter  of 
Pusillanimity,  and  thereby  so  near  of  kin  to  the  night's 
fear :  methinketh,  on  the  other  side,  that  it  is  rather  a  thing 
that  cometh  of  a  great  courage  and  boldness,  when  they 
dare  their  own  hands  put  themself  to  death,  from  which 
we  see  almost  every  man  shrink  and  flee,  and  that  many 
such,  as  we  know  by  good  proof  and  plain  experience  for 
men  of  great  heart  and  of  an  exceeding  hardy  courage. 

ANTONY. — 1  said,  cousin  Vincent,  that  of  pusillanimity 
causeth  this  temptation,  and  very  truth  it  is  that  indeed  it 
so  doth.  But  yet  I  meant  it  not,  that  of  only  faint  heart 
and  fear  it  cometh  and  groweth  alway.  For  the  devil 
tempteth  sundry  folks  by  sundry  ways.  But  the  cause 
wherefore  I  spake  of  none  other  kind  of  that  temptation, 
than  of  only  that  which  is  the  daughter  that  the  devil 
begetteth  upon  Pusillanimity,  was  for  that,  that  those  other 
kinds  of  that  temptation  fall  not  under  the  nature  of  tribu 
lation  and  fear,  and  therefore  fall  they  far  out  of  our  matter 
here,  and  are  such  temptations  as  only  need  counsel,  and 
not  comfort  or  consolation,  for  that  the  persons  therewith 
tempted  be  with  that  kind  of  temptation  not  troubled  in 
their  mind,  but  verily  well  content,  both  in  the  tempting 
and  following.  For  some  have  there  been,  cousin,  such, 
that  they  have  been  tempted  thereto  by  mean  of  a  foolish 
pride,  and  some  by  the  mean  of  anger,  without 
any  dread  at  all,  and  very  glad  to  go  thereto :  y*nfnm 
to  this  I  say  not  nay.  But  whereas  you  ween,  JJJJ**'* some" 
that  none  fall  thereto  by  fear,  but  that  they 
have  all  a  strong  mighty  stomach  :  that  shall  you  well  see 
the  contrary,  and  that  peradventure  in  those  of  whom  you 
would  ween  the  stomach  most  strong,  and  their  heart 
and  courage  most  hardy. 

134  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 

VINCENT. — Yet  is  it  marvel,  uncle,  tome,  that  it  should 
be  as  you  say  it  is,  that  this  temptation  is  unto  them  that 
do  it  for  pride  or  for  anger  no  tribulation,  nor  that  they 
should  need,  in  so  great  a  distress  and  peril  both  of  body 
and  soul  to  be  lost,  no  manner  of  good  ghostly  comfort 
at  all. 

ANTONY.  —  Let  us  therefore,  cousin,  consider  a  sample 
or  two,  for  thereby  shall  we  the  better  perceive  it.  There 
was  here  in  Buda,  in  king  Ladislaus'  days,  a  good,  poor, 
etije  carpenter's  honest  man's  wife  :  this  woman  was  so  fiendish, 
tolfe-  that  the  devil  perceiving  her  nature,  put  her 

in  the  mind  that  she  should  anger  her  husband  so  sore, 
that  she  might  give  him  occasion  to  kill  her,  and  then  he 
should  be  hanged  for  her. 

VINCENT.  —  This  was  a  strange  temptation  indeed. 
What  the  devil  should  she  be  the  better  then? 

ANTONY. — Nothing,  but  that  it  eased  her  shrewd  sto 
mach  before,  to  think  that  her  husband  should  be  hanged 
after.  And  peradventure  if  you  look  about  the  world  and 
consider  it  well,  you  shall  find  more  such  stomachs  than 
a  few.  Have  you  never  heard  no  furious  body  plainly 
say,  that  to  see  some  such  man  have  a  mischief,  he  would 
with  good  will  be  content  to  lie  as  long  in  hell  as  God 
liveth  in  heaven  ? 

VINCENT. — Forsooth,  and  some  such  have  I  heard  of. 

ANTONY. — This  mind  of  his  was  not  much  less  mad 
than  hers,  but  rather  haply  the  more  mad  of  the  twain : 
for  the  woman  peradventure  did  not  cast  so  far  peril 
therein.  But  to  tell  you  now  to  what  good  pass  her 
charitable  purpose  came :  as  her  husband  (the  man  was  a 
carpenter)  stood  hewing  with  his  chip-axe  upon  a  piece  of 
timber,  she  began  after  her  old  guise  so  to  revile  him, 
that  the  man  waxed  wrath  at  last,  and  bade  her  get  in  or 
he  would  lay  the  helve  of  his  axe  about  her  back,  and 
said  also,  that  it  were  little  sin  even  with  that  axe-head  to 
chop  off  that  unhappy  head  of  hers  that  carried  such  an 
ungracious  tongue  therein.  At  that  word  the  devil  took 
his  time,  and  whetted  her  tongue  against  her  teeth,  and 
when  it  was  well  sharped,  she  sware  unto  him  in  very 
fierce  anger:  "  By  the  mass,  whoreson  husband,  I  would 


thou  wouldst :  here  lieth  my  head,  lo  !  (and  therewith 
down  she  laid  her  head  upon  the  same  timber  log)  if  thou 
smite  it  not  off,  I  beshrevv  thy  whoreson  heart."  With 
that,  likewise,  as  the  devil  stood  at  her  elbow,  so  stood  (as 
I  heard  say)  his  good  angel  at  his,  and  gave  him  ghostly 
courage,  and  bade  him  be  bold  and  do  it.  And  so  the 
good  man  up  with  his  chip-axe,  and  at  a  chop  chopped 
off  her  head  indeed.  There  were  standing  other  folk  by, 
which  had  a  good  sport  to  hear  her  chide,  but  little  they 
looked  for  this  chance,  till  it  was  done  ere  they  could  let 
it.  They  said  they  heard  her  tongue  babble  in  her  head, 
and  call  whoreson,  whoreson,  twice  after  the  head  was 
from  the  body.  At  the  leastwise  afterward  unto  the  king 
thus  they  reported  all,  except  only  one,  and  that  was  a 
woman,  and  she  said  that  she  heard  it  not. 

VINCENT. — Forsooth,  this  was  a  wonderful  work.  What 
became,  uncle,  of  the  man? 

ANTONY. — The  king  gave  him  his  pardon. 

VINCENT. — Verily  he  might  in  conscience  do  no  less. 

ANTONY. — But  then  was  it  farther  almost  at  another 
point,  that  there  should  have  been  a  statute  made,  that  in 
such  case  there  should  never  after  pardon  be  granted,  but 
the  truth  being  able  to  be  proved,  no  husband  should 
need  any  pardon,  but  should  have  leave  by  the  law  to  fol 
low  the  sample  of  the  carpenter,  and  do  the  same. 

VINCENT. — How  happed  it,  uncle,  that  the  good  law 
was  left  unmade? 

ANTONY. — How  happed  it?  As  it  happeth,  cousin, 
that  many  more  be  left  unmade  as  well  as  it,  and  within 
a  little  as  good  as  it  too,  both  here,  and  in  other  countries, 
and  sometime  some  worse  made  in  their  stead. 
But  (as  they  say)  the  let  of  that  law  was  the 
queen's  grace,  God  forgive  her  soul !  it  was  the  greatest 
thing,  I  ween,  good  lady,  that  she  had  to  answer  for  when 
she  died.  For  surely,  save  for  that  one  thing,  she  was  a 
full  blessed  woman.  But  letting  now  that  law  pass,  this 
temptation  in  procuring  her  own  death  was  unto  this  car 
penter's  wife  no  tribulation  at  all,  as  far  as  ever  men  could 
perceive  :  for  it  liked  her  well  to  think  thereon,  and  she 
even  longed  therefor.  And  therefore,  if  she  had  before 

136  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 

told  you  or  me  her  mind,  and  that  she  would  so  fain 
bring  it  so  to  pass,  we  could  have  had  no  occasion  to 
comfort  her  as  one  that  were  in  tribulation  :  but  marry, 
counsel  her  (as  I  told  you  before)  we  well  might,  to  refrain 
and  amend  that  malicious  devilish  mind  of  hers. 

VINCENT. — Verily  that  is  truth;  but  such  as  are  well 
willing  to  do  any  purpose  that  is  so  shameful,  will  never 
tell  their  mind  to  nobody  for  very  shame. 

ANTONY. — Some  will  not  indeed,  and  yet  are  there 
some  again,  that  be  their  intent  never  so  shameful,  find 
some  yet  whom  their  heart  serveth  them  to  make  of  their 
another  strange  counsel  therein.  Some  of  my  folk  here  can 
tase-  tell  you,  that  no  longer  than  even  yesterday, 

one  that  came  out  of  Vienna  shewed  us  among  other 
talking,  that  a  rich  widow  (but  I  forgot  to  ask  him  where 
it  happed)  having  all  her  life  an  high  proud  mind  and  a 
fell,  as  those  two  virtues  are  wont  alway  to  keep  com 
pany  together,  was  at  debate  with  another  neighbour  of 
hers  in  the  town,  and  on  a  time  she  made  of  her  counsel 
a  poor  neighbour  of  hers,  whom  she  thought  for  money 
she  might  induce  to  follow  her  mind.  With  him  secretly 
she  brake,  and  offered  him  ten  ducats  for  his  labour,  to 
do  so  much  for  her  as  in  a  morning  early  to  come  to  her 
house,  and  with  an  axe  unknown  privily  to  strike  off  her 
head.  And  when  he  had  so  done,  then  convey  the  bloody 
axe  into  the  house  of  him  with  whom  she  was  at  debate, 
in  some  such  manner  wise  as  it  might  be  thought  that 
he  had  murdered  her  of  malice,  and  then  she  thought 
she  should  be  taken  for  a  martyr.  And  yet  had  she 
further  devised,  that  another  sum  of  money  should  after 
be  sent  to  Rome,  and  that  there  should  be  means  made 
to  the  Pope,  that  she  might  in  all  haste  be  canonized. 
This  poor  man  promised,  but  intended  not  to  perform  it. 
Howbeit,  when  he  deferred  it,  she  provided  the  axe  her 
self,  and  he  appointed  with  her  the  morning  when  he 
should  come  and  do  it.  But  then  set  he  such  other  folk, 
as  he  would  should  know  her  frantic  phantasy,  in  such 
place  appointed  as  they  might  well  hear  her  and  him  talk 
together.  And  after  that  he  had  talked  with  her  thereof 
what  he  would,  so  much  as  he  thought  was  enough,  he 


made  her  lie  down,  and  took  up  the  axe  in  his  one  hand, 
and  with  the  tother  hand  he  felt  the  edge,  and  found  a 
fault  that  it  was  not  sharp,  and  that,  therefore,  he  would 
in  no  wise  do  it,  till  that  he. had  ground  it  sharper;  he 
could  not  else  (he  said)  for  pity,  it  would  put  her  to  so 
much  pain :  and  so  full  sore  against  her  will  for  that 
time  she  kept  her  head  still.  But  because  she  would  not 
suffer  any  more  to  deceive  her  so  and  fode  her  forth  with 
delays,  ere  it  was  very  long  after  she  hanged  herself  with 
her  own  hands. 

VINCENT. — Forsooth,  here  was  a  tragical  story,  whereof 
I  never  heard  the  like. 

ANTONY. — Forsooth,  the  party  that  told  it  me,  sware 
that  he  knew  it  for  a  truth.  And  himself  is,  I  promise 
you,  such  as  I  reckon  for  right  honest,  and  of  substantial 
truth.  Now,  here  she  letted  not,  as  shameful  a  mind  as 
she  had,  to  make  one  of  her  counsel  yet :  and  as  I  re 
member,  another  too,  whom  she  trusted  with  the  money 
that  should  procure  her  canonization.  And  here,  I  wot 
well,  that  her  temptation  came  not  of  fear,  but  of  high 
malice  and  pride.  But  then  was  she  so  glad  in  the  plea 
sant  device  thereof,  that  (as  I  shewed  you)  she  took  it 
for  no  tribulation.  And  therefore,  comforting  of  her 
could  have  no  place :  but  if  men  should  any  thing  give 
her  toward  her  help,  it  must  have  been  (as  I  told  you) 
good  counsel.  And  therefore,  as  1  said,  this  kind  of 
temptation  to  a  man's  own  destruction,  which  requireth 
counsel  and  is  out  of  tribulation,  was  out  of  our  matter, 
that  is  to  treat  of  comfort  in  tribulation. 

138  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 


Of  him  that  were  moved  to  kill  himself  by  illusion  of  the 
devil,  which  he  reckoned  for  a  revelation. 

UT  lest  you  might  reject  both  these  sam 
ples,  weening  they  were  but  feigned  tales, 
1  shall  put  you  but  in  remembrance  of 
one,  which  I  reckon  yourself  have  read  in 
the  Collations  of  Cassianus.*  And  if  you 
have  not,  there  may  you  soon  find  it :  for 
myself  have  half  forgotten  the  thing,  it  is  so  long  since 
I  read  it.  But  this  much  I  remember,  that  he  telleth 
there  of  one  that  was  many  days  a  very  holy  man  in  his 
living,  and  among  the  other  virtuous  monks  and  ankers 
that  lived  there  in  wilderness  was  marvellously  much 
esteemed,  saving  that  some  were  not  all  out  of  fear  of 
him,  lest  his  revelations,  whereof  he  told  many  by  him 
self,  would  prove  illusions  of  the  devil:  and  so  proved 
it  after  indeed.  For  the  man  was  by  the  devil's  subtle 
suggestions  brought  into  such  an  high  spiritual  pride, 
that  in  conclusion  the  devil  brought  him  to  that  horrible 
point,  that  he  made  him  to  kill  himself,  and  as  far  as 
my  mind  giveth  me  now  without  new  sight  of  the  book, 
he  brought  him  to  it  by  this  persuasion,  that  he  made 
him  believe,  that  it  was  God's  will  he  should  so  do,  and 
that  thereby  should  he  go  straight  to  heaven.  And  then 
if  it  were  by  that  persuasion,  with  which  he  took  very 
great  comfort  in  his  own  mind  himself,  then  was  it  (as  I 
said)  out  of  our  case  here,  and  needed  not  comfort,  but 
counsel  against  giving  credence  to  the  devil's  persuasion. 
*  Collat.  2,  cap.  5. 


But  marry,  if  he  made  him  first  perceive,  how  he  had 
been  deluded,  and  then  tempted  him  to  his  own  death 
by  shame  arid  despair,  then  was  it  within  our  matter,  lo. 
For  then  was  his  temptation  fallen  down  from  pride  to 
pusillanimity,  and  was  waxen  that  kind  of  the  night's 
fear  that  I  spake  of,  wherein  a  good  part  of  the  counsel 
that  were  to  be  given  him,  should  have  need  to  stand  in 
good  comforting ;  for  then  was  he  brought  into  right  sure 

But  as  I  was  about  to  tell  you,  strength  of  heart  and 
courage  is  there  none  therein,  not  only  for  that  very 
strength,  as  it  hath  the  name  of  virtue  in  a  reasonable 
creature,  can  never  be  without  prudence;  but  also  for 
that,  as  I  said,  even  in  them  that  seem  men  of  most 
hardiness,  it  shall  well  appear  to  them  that  well  weigh 
the  matter,  that  the  mind,  whereby  they  be  led  to  destroy 
themself,  groweth  out  of  pusillanimity  and  very  foolish 
fear.  Take  for  example,  Cato  Uticensis,  who  <g-ato  ®t{. 
in  Africa  killed  himself  after  the  great  victory  ««»&. 
that  Julius  C0esar  had.  St.  Austin  well  declareth  in  his 
work  De  Civitate  Dei*  that  there  was  no  strength  nor 
magnanimity  therein,  but  plain  pusillanimity  and  impo- 
tency  of  stomach,  whereby  he  was  forced  to  the  destruc 
tion  of  himself,  because  his  heart  was  too  feeble  to  bear 
the  beholding  of  another  man's  glory,  or  the  suffering  of 
other  calamities,  that  he  feared  should  fall  on  himself.  So 
that  (as  St.  Austin  well  proveth)  that  humble  deed  is  no 
act  of  strength,  but  an  act  of  the  mind  either  drawn 
from  the  consideration  of  itself  with  some  devilish  phan 
tasy,  wherein  the  man  hath  need  to  be  called  home  with 
good  counsel,  or  else  oppressed  by  faint  heart  and  fear, 
wherein  a  good  part  of  the  counsel  must  stand  in  lifting 
up  his  courage  with  good  consolation  and  comfort. 

And  therefore,  if  we  found  any  such  religious  person, 
as  was  that  father  which  Cassian  writeth  of,  that  were 
of  such  austere  and  apparently  ghostly  living,  that  he 
were  with  such,  as  well  knew  him,  reputed  for  a  man  of 
singular  virtue,  and  that  it  were  perceived,  that  he  had 
many  strange  visions  appearing  unto  him :  if  it  should 
*  Lib.  i.  cap.  22  et  23. 

140  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 

now  be  perceived  after  that,  that  the  man  went  about 
secretly  to  destroy  himself,  who  so  should  hap  to  come 
to  the  knowledge  thereof,  and  intended  to  do  his  devoir 
in  the  let :  first  must  he  find  the  means  to  search  and 
find  out,  whether  the  man  be  in  his  manner  and  in  his 
countenance,  lightsome,  glad,  and  joyful,  or  dumpish, 
heavy,  and  sad :  whether  he  go  thereabout,  as  one  that 
were  full  of  the  glad  hope  of  heaven,  or  as  one  that  had 
his  breast  farced  full  of  tediousness  and  weariness  of  the 
world.  If  he  were  founden  of  the  first  fashion,  it  were 
a  token  that  the  devil  hath  by  his  fantastical  apparitions 
purled  him  up  in  such  a  peevish  pride,  that  he  hath 
finally  persuaded  him  by  some  illusion  shewed  him  for 
the  proof,  that  God's  pleasure  is  that  he  shall  for  his 
sake  with  his  own  hands  kill  himself. 

VINCENT. — What  if  a  man  so  found  it,  uncle?  What 
counsel  should  a  man  give  him  then  ? 

ANTONY. — That  were  somewhat  out  of  our  purpose, 
cousin  :  sith,  as  I  told  you  before,  the  man  were  not  then 
in  sorrow  and  tribulation,  whereof  our  matter  speaketh, 
but  in  a  perilous  merry  mortal  temptation.  So  that  if 
we  should  beside  our  own  matter  that  we  have  in  hand, 
enter  into  that  too,  we  might  hap  to  make  a  longer  work 
between  both,  than  we  could  well  finish  this  day.  How- 
beit,  to  be  short,  it  is  soon  seen,  that  therein  the  sum 
and  effect  of  the  counsel  must  in  manner  rest  in  giving 
him  warning  of  the  devil's  sleights,  and  that  must  be 
done  under  such  sweet,  pleasant  manner,  as  the  man 
should  not  abhor  to  hear  it.  For  while  it  could  lightly 
be  none  other,  but  that  the  man  were  rocked  and  sung 
asleep  by  the  devil's  craft,  and  thereby  his  mind  occupied 
as  it  were  in  a  delectable  dream,  he  should  never  have 
good  audience  of  him,  that  would  rudely  and  boisterously 
shog  him  and  wake  him,  and  so  shake  him  out  thereof. 
Therefore,  must  you  fair  and  easily  touch  him,  and  with 
some  pleasant  speech  awake  him  so,  that  he  wax  not 
wayward,  as  children  do  that  are  waked  ere  they  list  to 
rise.  But  when  a  man  hath  first  begun  with  his  praise 
(for  if  he  be  proud,  ye  shall  much  better  please  him  with 
a  commendation  than  with  a  Dirige),  then  after  favour 


won  therewithal,  a  man  may  little  and  little  insinuate 
the  doubt  of  such  revelations,  not  at  the.  first  as  it  were 
for  any  doubt  of  his,  but  of  some  other  that  men  in  some 
other  places  talk  of.  And  peradventure  it  shall  not  mis- 
content  himself,  to  shew  great  perils  that  may  fall  therein 
in  another  man's  case  (rather  than  his  own)  and  shall 
begin  to  preach  upon  it. 

Or  if  you  were  a  man  that  had  not  so  very  a  scrupulous 
conscience  of  an  harmless  lie  devised  to  do  good  withal, 
which  kind  St.  Austin,  though  he  take  alway  for  sin,  yet 
he  taketh  it  but  for  venial,  and  St.  Hierome*  (as  by  divers 
places  in  his  books  appeareth)  taketh  not  fully  for  so 
much  :  then  may  you  feign  some  secret  friend  of  yours  to 
be  in  such  case,  and  that  yourself  somewhat  fear  his 
peril,  and  have  made  of  charity  this  voyage  for  his  sake 
to  ask  this  good  father's  counsel.  And  in  that  communi 
cation  may  you  bring  in  these  words  of  St.  John :  Nolite 
omni  spiritui  credere,  sed  probate  spiritus  si  ex  Deo  sunt) — 
Give  not  credence  unto  every  spirit,  but  prove  the  spirits 
whether  they  be  of  God  :t  and  these  words  of  St.  Paul  : 
Angelus  Sathance  transfigurat  se  in  angelum  lucis, — The 
angel  of  Sathan  transfigureth  himself  into  the  angel  of 
light.J  You  shall  take  occasion  the  better,  if  they  hap  to 
come  in  on  his  own  side,  but  yet  not  lack  occasion  neither, 
if  those  texts  (for  lack  of  his  offer)  come  in  upon  your 
own ;  occasion,  I  say,  shall  you  not  lack  to  inquire,  by 
what  sure  and  undeceivable  tokens  a  man  may  discern 
the  true  revelations  from  the  false  illusions,  whereof  a 
man  shall  find  many  both  here  and  there  in  divers  other 
authors,  and  whole  together  diverse  goodly  treatises  of 
that  good  godly  doctor,  M.  John  Gerson,  en-  ©erson  »e  fro- 
titled,  De  Probations  Spirituum.  As,  if  the  »«•  Sptnt. 
party  be  natural  wise,  or  any  thing  seem  fantastical;  or 
whether  the  party  be  poor-spirited,  or  proud,  which  will 
somewhat  appear  by  his  delight  in  his  own  praise  :  or  if 
of  wiliness,  or  of  another  pride  for  to  be  praised  of  hu 
mility,  he  refuse  to  hear  thereof  yet:  any  little  fault 
found  in  himself,  or  diffidence  declared,  and  mistrust  of 
his  own  revelations,  and  doubtful  tokens  told,  whereof 
*  Ad  Consent,  de  Mendac.  f  1  Joan.  iv.  +  2  Cor.  xi. 

142  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 

himself  should  fear  lest  they  be  the  devil's  illusions : 
such  things  (as  M.  Gerson  saith)  will  make  him  to  spit 
out  somewhat  of  his  spiteful  spirit,  if  the  devil  lie  in  his 

Or  if  the  devil  be  yet  so  subtle,  that  he  keep  himself 
close  in  his  warm  den,  arid  blow  out  never  a  hot  word, 
yet  is  it  to  be  considered,  what  end  his  revelations  draw 
to,  whether  to  any  spiritual  profit  to  himself  or  other 
Cofcens  of  false  folk,  or  only  to  vain  marvels  and  wonders. 
illusions.  Also,  whether  they  withdraw  him  from  such 

other  good,  virtuous  business,  as  by  the  common  rules  of 
Christendom,  or  any  rules  of  his  profession,  he  was  wont 
to  use,  or  was  bound  to  be  occupied  in.  Or  whether  he 

fall  into  any  singularity  of  opinions  against 
Sue!)  Illusions  ,10-  J  r  R  -  • 

ta&e  some  jew-    the  scripture  or  (jrod,  or  against  the  common 

faith  of  Christ's  Catholic  Church.  Many 
other  tokens  are  there  in  that  work  of  M.  Gerson  spoken 
of,  to  consider  by,  whether  the  person  neither  having 
revelations  of  God,  nor  illusions  from  the  devil,  do  either 
for  winning  of  money,  or  worldly  favour,  feign  his  reve 
lations  himself  to  delude  the  people  withal. 

But  now  for  our  purpose,  if  among  any  of  the  marks, 
by  which  the  true  revelations  may  be  known  from  the 
false  illusions,  that  man  himself  bring  forth  for  one  mark 
the  doing  or  teaching  of  any  thing  against  the  Scripture 
of  God,  or  the  common  faith  of  the  church;  then  have 
you  an  entry  made  you,  by  which  when  you  list  you  may 
enter  into  the  special  matter,  wherein  he  can  never  well 
flit  from  you.  Or  else  may  you  yet,  if  you  list,  feign  that 
your  secret  friend,  for  whose  sake  you  come  to  him  for 
counsel,  is  brought  into  that  mind  by  a  certain  apparition 
shewed  unto  him  (as  himself  saith)  by  an  angel ;  as  you 
fear,  by  the  devil;  that  he  can  be  by  you  none  otherwise 
persuaded  as  yet,  but  that  the  pleasure  of  God  is,  that  he 
shall  go  kill  himself :  and  that  if  he  so  do,  then  shall  he 
be  thereby  so  specially  participant  of  Christ's  passion, 
that  he  shall  forthwith  be  carried  up  with  angels  into  hea 
ven.  For  which  he  is  so  joyful,  that  he  firmly  purposeth 
upon  it,  no  less  glad  to  do  it,  than  another  man  would  be 
glad  to  void  it.  And  therefore  may  you  desire  his  good 


counsel,  to  instruct  you  with  some  good  substantial 
advice,  wherewith  you  may  turn  him  from  his  error,  that 
he  be  not  (under  hope  of  God's  true  revelation)  in  body 
and  soul  destroyed  by  the  devil's  false  illusion.  If  he 
will  in  this  thing  study  and  labour  to  instruct  you,  the 
things  that  himself  shall  find  out  of  his  own  invention, 
though  they  be  less  effectual,  shall  peradventure  more 
work  with  himself  toward  his  own  amendment,  sith  he 
shall  of  likelihood  better  like  them,  than  shall  double  so 
substantial  things  told  by  another  man.  If  he  be  loth 
to  think  upon  that  side,  and  therefore  shrink  from  the 
matter;  then  is  there  none  other  way,  but  adventure  after 
the  plain  fashion  to  fall  into  the  matter  and  shew  what 
you  hear,  and  to  give  him  counsel  and  exhortation  to  the 
contrary;  but  if  you  list  to  say,  that  thus  and  thus  hath 
the  matter  been  reasoned  already  between  your  friend 
and  you,  and  therein  may  you  rehearse  such  things,  as 
should  prove  that  the  vision  which  moveth  him  is  no  true 
revelation,  but  a  very  false  illusion. 

VINCENT. — Verily,  uncle,  I  well  allow  this,  that  a  man 
should  as  well  in  this  thing,  as  every  other  wherein  he 
longeth  to  do  another  man  good,  seek  such  a  pleasant 
way  as  the  party  should  be  likely  to  like,  or  at  the  least 
wise  to  take  well  in  worth  his  communication :  and  not 
so  to  enter  in  thereunto,  as  he,  whom  he  would  help, 
should  abhor  him  and  be  loth  to  hear  him,  and  there 
fore  take  no  profit  by  him.  But  now,  uncle,  if  it  come 
by  the  one  way  or  the  other,  to  the  point  that  hear  me 
he  will,  or  shall;  what  be  the  reasons  effectual  with 
which  I  should  by  counsel  convert  him? 

ANTONY. — All  those,  by  which  you  may  make  him  per 
ceive  that  himself  is  deceived,  and  that  his  visions  be  no 
Godly  revelations,  but  very  devilish  illusions.  And  those 
reasons  must  you  gather  of  the  man,  of  the  matter,  and 
of  the  law  of  God,  or  of  some  one  of  these. 

1.  Of  the  man:  if  you  can  peradventure  shew  him, 
that  in  such  a  point  or  such,  he  is  waxen  worse  since 
such  revelations  have  haunted  him  than  he  was  before, 
as  in  those  that  are  deluded,  whoso  be  well  acquainted 
with  them  shall  well  mark  and  perceive.  For  they  wax 

144  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 

more  proud,  more  wayward,  more  envious,  suspicious, 
©went  tokens  misjudging,  and  depraving  other  men,  with 
of  (Hustons.  the  delight  of  their  own  praise,  and  such  other 
spiritual  vices  of  the  soul. 

2.  Of  the  matter  may  you  gather,  if  it  have  happed 
his   revelations   before   to    prove   false,   or  that  they  be 
things   rather   strange   than   profitable.      For  that  is  a 
ojfoj-s  mfraeies.   &ooc*   mar^   between  God's  miracles  and  the 
&f)e  Benti's        devil's  wonders.      For  Christ   and   his  saints 

have  their  miracles  alway  tending  to  fruit  and 
profit :  the  devil,  and  his  witches,  and  necromancers,  all 
their  wonderful  works  draw  to  no  fruitful  end,  but  to  a 
fruitless  ostentation  and  show,  as  it  were  a  juggler  that 
would,  for  a  show  before  the  people,  play  masteries  at  a 

3.  Of  the  law  of  God  you  must  draw  your  reasons,  in 
shewing  by  the  Scripture  that  the  thin^  which  he  weeneth 
God  by  his  angel  biddeth,  God  hath  his  own  mouth  for 
bidden.*     And  that  is,  you  wot  well,  in  the  case  that  we 
speak  of,  so  easy  to  find,  that  I  need  not  to  rehearse  it 
unto  you,   sith  there  is  plain  among  the  Ten  Command 
ments  forbidden  the  unlawful   killing  of  any  man:  and 
therefore    of  himself,    as    St.  Austin   saith,    and    all   the 
Church  teacheth,  except  himself  be  no  man.f 

VINCENT. — This  is  very  true,  good  uncle,  nor  I  will  not 
dispute  upon  any  glosing  of  that  prohibition.  But  sith 
we  find  not  the  contrary,  but  that  God  may  dispense  with 
that  commandment  himself,  and  both  license  and  com 
mand  also,  if  himself  list,  any  man  to  go  kill  either 
another  man  or  himself  either :  this  man  that  is  now  by 
such  a  marvellous  vision  induced  to  believe  that  God  so 
biddeth  him,  and  therefore  thinketh  himself  in  that  case 
of  that  prohibition  discharged,  and  charged  with  the  con 
trary  commandment;  with  what  reason  may  we  make 
him  perceive  that  his  vision  is  but  an  illusion,  and  not  a 
true  revelation  ? 

ANTONY. — Nay,  cousin  Vincent,  you  shall  not  need  in 
this  case  to  require  those  reasons  of  me :  but  taking  the 
Scripture  of  God  for  a  ground  in  this  matter,  you  know 
*  Deut.  v.  f  August,  de  Civitat.  Dei,  lib.  i.  cap.  26. 


very  well  yourself,  you  shall  go  somewhat  a  shorter  way 
to  work,  if  you  ask  this  question  of  him,  that  sith  God 
hath  forbidden  the  thing  once  himself,  though  he  may 
dispense  therewith  if  he  will,  yet  sith  the  devil  may  feign 
himself  God,  and  with  a  marvellous  vision  delude  one, 
and  make  as  though  God  did  it,  and  sith  the  devil  also 
is  more  likely  to  speak  against  God's  commandment  than 
God  against  his  own;  you  shall  have  good  cause,  I  say, 
to  demand  of  the  man  himself,  whereby  he  knoweth  that 
his  vision  is  God's  true  revelation,  and  not  the  devil's 
false  delusion. 

VINCENT. — Indeed,  uncle,  I  think,  that  would  be  an 
hard  question  for  him.  May  a  man  have,  uncle,  in  such 
a  thing  even  a  very  sure  knowledge  in  his  own  mind  ? 

ANTONY. — Yea,  cousin,  God  may  cast  into  the  mind  of 
a  man,  I  suppose,  such  an  inward  light  and  understand 
ing  that  he  cannot  fail  but  be  sure  thereof.  And  yet  he 
that  is  deluded  by  the  devil  may  think  himself  as  sure, 

nd  yet  be  deceived  indeed.     And  such  a  dif-   ,, 

f       J       .     ,,  ,     J  £f)e  similitude 

lerence  is  there  in  a  manner  between  them,  as  of  Breaming 

is  between  the  sight  of  a  thing  while  we  be  an5  toafeinfl' 
waking  and  look  thereon,  and  the  sight  with  which  we 
see  a  thing  in  our  sleep,  while  we  dream  thereof. 

VINCENT. — This  is  a  pretty  similitude,  uncle,  in  this 
thing ;  and  then  is  it  easy  for  the  monk  that  we  speak  of, 
to  declare  how  he  knoweth  his  vision  for  a  true  revela 
tion  and  not  a  false  delusion,  if  there  be  so  great  differ 
ence  between  them. 

ANTONY.  —  Not  so  easy,  cousin,  yet,  as  you  ween  it 
were.  For  how  can  you  now  prove  unto  me  that  vou  be 

10  •* 

awake  r 

VINCENT.  —  Marry  lo:  do  I  not  now  wag  my  hand, 
shake  my  head,  and  stamp  with  my  feet  here  in  the 

ANTONY. — Have  you  never  dreamed  ere  this,  that  you 
have  done  the  same  ? 

VINCENT. — Yes,  that  have  I,  and  more  too  than  that. 
For  I  have  ere  this  in  my  sleep  dreamed  that  I  doubted 
whether  I  were  awake  or  asleep,  and  have  in  good  faith 
thought  that  I  did  thereupon  even  the  same  things  that 



I  do  now  indeed,  and  thereby  determined  that  I  was  not 
Sttcti  ureams  asleep.  And  yet  have  I  dreamed  in  good  faith 
peantVtoUlSt|e?s  farther,  that  I  have  been  afterward  at  dinner, 
too.  and  there  making  merry  with  company,  have 

told  the  same  dream  at  the  table  and  laughed  well  thereat, 
that  (while  I  was  asleep)  I  had  by  such  means  of  moving 
the  parts  of  my  body,  and  considering  thereof,  so  verily 
though  myself  waking. 

ANTONY. — And  will  you  not  now  as  soon,  trow  you, 
when  you  wake  and  rise,  laugh  as  well  at  yourself,  when 
you  see  that  you  lie  now  in  your  warm  bed  asleep  again 
and  dream  all  this  time,  while  you  ween  so  verily  that  you 
be  waking  and  talking  of  these  matters  with  me  ? 

VINCENT. — God's  Lord,  uncle,  you  go  now  merrily  to 
work  with  me  indeed,  when  you  look  and  speak  so  sadly, 
and  would  make  me  ween  I  were  asleep. 

ANTONY. — It  may  be  that  you  be  so,  for  any  thing  that 
you  can  say  or  do,  whereby  you  may  with  any  reason 
that  you  can  make  drive  me  to  confess,  that  yourself  be 
sure  of  the  contrary :  sith  you  can  do  nor  say  nothing 
now,  whereby  you  be  sure  to  be  waking,  but  that  you 
have  ere  this,  or  hereafter  may,  think  yourself  so  surely 
to  do  the  selfsame  things  indeed,  while  you  be  all  the 
while  asleep,  and  nothing  do  but  lie  dreaming. 

VINCENT. — Well,  well,  uncle,  though  I  have  ere  this 
thought  myself  awake,  while  I  was  indeed  asleep :  yet  for 
all  this  I  know  well  enough  that  I  am  awake  now,  and 
so  do  you  too,  though  I  cannot  find  the  words  by  which 
I  may  with  reason  enforce  you  to  confess  it,  but  that 
alway  you  may  drive  me  off  by  the  sample  of  my  dream. 

ANTONY. — This  is,  cousin,  as  me  seemeth  very  true. 
And  likewise  seemeth  me  the  manner  and  difference  be 
tween  some  kinds  of  true  revelations,  and  some  kind  of 
«arft  tneii  tfits  fa^se  illusions,  as  it  standeth  between  the 
comparison  of  things  that  are  done  waking,  and  the  things 
areaminganan&  that  in  our  dreams  seem  to  be  done  while  we  be 
iKelftf true  sleePmg :  tnat  is>  to  wit,  that  he  which  hath 

ttiaw°an?°to  tnat  ^™^  °^  revelat'on  from  ^°^  ™  as  sure  °f 
false'  opinions  the  truth,  as  we  be  of  our  own  deed  while  we  be 
*nn  tarsus.  waking.  And  he  that  is  illuded  by  the  devil,  is 


in  such  wise  deceived,  and  worse  too,  than  be  they  by  their 
dream,  and  yet  reckoneth  himself  as  sure  for  the  time 
as  the  other,  saving  that  the  one  falsely  weeneth  and  the 
other  truly  knoweth.  But  I  say  not,  cousin,  that  this 
kind  of  sure  knowledge  cometh  in  every  kind  of  revela 
tion.  For  there  are  many  kinds,  whereof  were  too  long 
to  talk  now :  but  I  say  that  God  doth,  or  may  do,  to 
man  in  some  thing  certainly  send  some  such. 

VINCENT. — Yet  then  may  this  religious  man,  of  whom 
we  speak,  when  I  shew  him  the  Scripture  against  his 
revelation  (and  therefore  call  it  an  illusion),  bid  me  with 
reason  go  care  for  myself.  For  he  knoweth  well  and 
surely  himself,  that  his  revelation  is  good  and  true,  and 
not  any  false  illusion,  sith  for  all  the  general  command 
ment  of  God  in  the  Scripture,  God  may  dispense  where 
he  will,  and  when  he  will,  and  may  command  him  to  do 
the  contrary,  as  he  commanded  Abraham  to  kill  his  own 
son,*  and  as  Sampson  had  by  inspiration  of  God  com 
mandment  to  kill  himself  with  pulling  down  the  house 
on  his  own  head  at  the  feast  of  the  Philistines.-]-  Now,  if 
I  would  do  then,  as  you  bade  me  right  now,  go  tell  him 
that  such  apparitions  were  illusions,  and  that  sith  God's 
word  is  in  the  Scripture  against  him  plain  for  the  prohibi 
tion,  he  must  prove  me  the  truth  of  his  revelation,  whereby 
I  may  know  that  it  is  not  a  false  illusion;  then  shall  he 
ask  me  again  whereby  that  I  can  prove  myself  to  be 
awake  and  talk  with  him,  and  not  to  be  asleep  and  dream 
so,  sith  in  my  dream  1  may  as  surely  ween  so,  as  I 
know  that  I  do  so.  And  thus  shall  he  drive  me  to  the 
same  bay,  to  which  I  would  bring  him. 

ANTON  if. — This  is  well  said,  cousin,  but  yet  could  he 
not  scape  you  so.  For  the  dispensation  of  God's  com 
mon  precept  (which  dispensation  he  must  say  that  he  hath 
by  his  private  revelation)  is  a  thing  of  such  sort  as  sheweth 
itself  nought  and  false.  For  it  never  hath  had  any 
sample  like  since  the  world  began  till  now,  that  ever  man 
hath  read  or  heard  of  among  faithful  people  commended 
First  in  Abraham,  as  touching  the  death  of  his  son,  God 
intended  it  not,  but  only  tempted  the  towardness  of  the 
*  Gen.  xxii.  f  Judic.  xvi. 

L    2 

148  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 

father's  obedience.  In  Sampson  all  men  make  not  the 
matter  very  sure  whether  he  be  saved  or  not,  but  yet  therein 
some  matter  and  cause  appeareth.  For  the  Philistines  being 
enemies  to  God,  and  using  Sampson  for  their  mocking- 
stock  in  scorn  of  God,*  it  is  well  likely  that  God  gave 
him  the  mind  to  bestow  his  own  life  upon  the  revenging 
of  the  displeasure  that  those  blasphemous  Philistines  did 
unto  God.  And  that  appeareth  mostly  clear  by  this,  that 
though  his  strength  failed  him  when  he  wanted  his  hair, 
yet  had  he  not,  as  it  seemeth,  that  strength  evermore  at 
hand  while  he  had  his  hair,  but  at  such  times  as  it  pleased 
God  to  give  it  him.  Which  thing  appeareth  by  these 
words  that  the  Scripture  in  some  place  of  that  matter 
saith  :  Irruit  virtus  Domini  in  Sampsonem — the  power  or 
might  of  God  rushed  into  Sampson. f  And  so  therefore, 
while  this  thing  that  he  did  in  the  pulling  down  of  the 
house  was  done  by  the  special  gift  of  strength  then  at 
that  point  given  him  by  God ;  it  well  declareth,  that  the 
strength  of  God,  and  therewith  the  spirit  of  God,  entered 
into  him  therefor. 

St.  Austin  also  rehearseth,  that  certain  holy,  virtuous 
virgins,  in  time  of  persecution,  being  by  infidels — God's 
enemies — pursued  upon  to  be  deflowered  by  force,J  ran 
into  a  water  and  drowned  themself,  rather  than  they 
would  be  bereaved  of  their  virginity.  And  albeit  that  he 
thinketh,  that  it  is  not  lawful  for  any  other  maid  to 
follow  their  sample,  but  rather  suffer  other  to  do  her  any 
manner  violence  by  force,  and  commit  sin  of  his  own 
upon  her  against  her  will,  than  wilfully,  and  thereby  sin 
fully,  herself  become  an  homicide  of  herself;  yet  he 
thinketh,  that  in  them  it  happed  by  the  special  instinct  of 
the  Spirit  of  God,  that  (for  causes  seen  unto  himself) 
would  rather  that  they  should  avoid  it  with  their  own 
temporal  death  than  abide  the  defiling  and  violation  of 
their  chastity.  But  now  this  good  man  neither  hath  any  of 
God's  enemies  to  be  by  his  own  death  revenged  on :  nor 
any  woman  that  violently  pursueth  him  by  force  to  be 
reave  him  of  his  virginity :  nor  never  find  we,  that  God 

*  August,  de  Civitat.  Dei,  lib.  i.  cap.  21.  f  Judic.  xr. 

J  August,  de  Civitat.  Dei,  lib.  i.  cap.  26. 


proved  any  man's  obedient  mind  by  the  commandment  of 
his  own  slaughter  of  himself.  Therefore  is  his  case  both 
plain  against  God's  open  precepts,  and  the  dispensation 
strange  and  without  sample,  no  cause  appearing,  nor  well 
imaginable ;  but  if  he  would  think  that  God  could  no 
longer  live  without  him,  nor  take  him  to  him  in  such 
wise  as  he  doth  other  men,  but  command  him  to  come  by 
a  forbidden  way,  by  which  without  other  cause  we  never 
heard  that  ever  he  had  any  man  else  before. 

Now  where  you  think,  that  if  you  should  after  this  bid 
him  tell  you  by  what  way  he  knoweth  that  his  intent 
riseth  upon  a  true  revelation,  and  not  upon  a  false  illusion, 
he  would  bid  you  then  again  tell  him  by  what  means  you 
know,  that  you  be  talking  with  him,  well  waking,  and  not 
dream  it  sleeping:  you  may  tell  him  again  that  men  thus 
talk  together  as  you  do,  and  in  such  manner  of  wise  as 
they  may  prove  and  perceive  that  they  so  do  by  the 
moving  of  themself,  and  with  putting  the  question  thereof 
unto  themself  for  their  pleasure.  And  the  marking  and 
considering  thereof  is  in  waking  a  daily  common  thing  that 
every  man  doth,  or  may  do  when  he  will.  And  when  they 
do  it,  they  do  it  but  of  pleasure.  But  in  sleep  it  happeth 
very  seld  that  men  dream  that  they  so  do,  nor  in  their 
dream  never  put  they  question  but  for  doubt.  And 
therefore  it  is  more  reason  that  sith  his  revelation  is  such 
also  that  happeth  so  seld,  and  after  happeth  that  men 
dream  of  such,  than  have  such  in  deed ;  therefore  it  is 
more  reason  (you  may  tell  him)  that  he  shew  you  in  such 
a  rare  thing,  and  a  thing  more  like  a  dream,  whereby  he 
knoweth  that  himself  is  not  asleep,  than  you  in  such  a 
common  thing  among  folk  that  are  waking,  and  so  seldom 
happing  in  a  dream,  should  need  to  shew  him  whereby 
you  know  that  you  be  not  asleep.  Besides  this  himself, 
to  whom  you  should  shew  it,  seeth  and  perceiveth  the 
thing  that  he  would  bid  you  prove,  but  the  thing  that 
he  would  make  you  believe  (the  truth  of  his  revelation 
which  you  bid  him  prove)  you  see  not,  he  wotteth  well 
himself.  And  therefore  ere  you  believe  it  against  the 
Scripture,  it  were  well  consonant  unto  reason  that  he 
should  shew  you  whereby  he  knoweth  it  for  a  true 

150  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 

waking  revelation,  and  not  for  a  false  dreaming  delu 

VINCENT. — Then  shall  he  peradventure  say  to  me  again, 
that  whether  I  believe  him,  or  not,  maketh  him  no  mat 
ter :  the  thing  toucheth  himself,  and  not  me.  And  himself 
is  in  himself  as  sure,  that  it  is  a  true  revelation,  as  that  he 
can  tell  that  hedreameth  not  buttalketh  with  me  waking. 

ANTONY. — Without  doubt,  cousin,  if  he  abide  at  that 
point,  and  can  be  by  no  reason  brought  to  do  so  much  as 
doubt,  and  can  by  no  means  be  shogged  out  of  his  dead 
sleep,  but  will  needs  take  his  dream  for  a  very  truth,  and 
aaaaisersin  as  some  by  night  rise  and  walk  about  their 
tfittt  sutp.  chamber  in  their  sleep,  will  so  rise  and  hang 
himself:  I  can  then  no  other  ways  see,  but  either  bind 
him  fast  in  his  bed,  or  else  essay  whether  that  might  hap 
to  help  him  with  which  the  common  tale  goeth,  that  a 
carver's  wife  in  such  a  frantic  phantasy  holp  her  husband. 
To  whom  when  he  told  he  would  upon  a  Good  Friday 

,    needs  have  killed  himself  for  Christ's  sake,  as 
Bfje  carber  tfiat  .  .  '  . 

tooum  be  cruet*   Christ  was  killed   tor  him,  she  would  not  m 

firt"  vain    plead  against   his   mind,   but   well  and 

wisely  put  him  in  remembrance,  that  if  he  would  die  for 
Christ  as  Christ  died  for  him,  it  were  then  convenient  for 
him  to  die  even  after  the  same  fashion.  And  that  might 
not  be  by  his  own  hands,  but  by  the  hand  of  some  other : 
for  Christ,  pardie,  killed  not  himself.  And  because  her 
husband  should  need  to  make  no  more  of  counsel  (for  that 
would  he  not  in  no  wise)  she  offered  him,  that  for  God's 
sake  she  would  secretly  herself  crucify  him  on  a  great 
cross,  that  he  had  made  to  nail  a  new  carved  crucifix 
upon.  Whereof  when  he  was  very  glad,  yet  she  bethought 
her,  that  Christ  was  bounden  to  a  pillar  and  beaten  first, 
and  after  crowned  with  thorns.  Whereupon  when  she 
had  (by  his  own  assent)  bound  him  fast  to  a  post,  she  left 
not  beating,  with  holy  exhortation  to  suffer  so  much  and 
so  long,  that  ere  ever  she  left  work  and  unbound  him, 
praying  him  nevertheless  that  she  might  put  on  his  head, 
and  drive  it  well  down,  a  crown  of  thorns  that  she  had 
writhen  for  him  and  brought  him  :  he  said,  he  thought 
this  was  enough  for  that  year ;  he  would  pray  God  to  for- 


bear  him  of  the  remnant,  till  Good  Friday  come  again. 
But  when  it  came  again  the  next  year,  then  was  his  lust 
past :  he  longed  to  follow  Christ  no  farther. 

VINCENT. — Indeed,  uncle,  if  this  help  him  not,  then  will 
nothing  help  him,  I  trow. 

ANTONY.  —  And  yet,  cousin,  peradventure  the  devil 
might  make  him  toward  such  a  purpose  first  gladly  suffer 
other  pain,  yea  and  minish  his  feeling  too  therein,  that  he 
may  thereby  the  less  fear  his  death :  and  yet  are  there 
peradventure  sometime  such  things,  and  many  more,  to 
be  essayed.  For  as  the  devil  may  hap  to  make  him  suffer, 
so  may  he  hap  to  miss,  namely,  if  his  friends  fall  to  prayer 
for  him  against  his  temptation  :  for  that  can  himself  never 
do,  while  he  taketh  it  for  none.  But  for  conclusion,  if 
the  man  be  surely  proved  so  inflexibly  set  upon  the  pur 
pose  to  destroy  himself  as  commanded  thereto  by  God, 
that  no  good  counsel  that  men  can  give  him,  nor  any 
other  thing  that  man  may  do  to  him,  can  refrain  him,  but 
that  he  would  surely  shortly  kill  himself:  then,  except 
only  good  prayer  made  by  his  friends  for  him, 
I  can  find  no  farther  shift,  but  either  have  him 
ever  in  sight,  or  bind  him  fast  in  his  bed.  And 
so  must  he  needs  of  reason  be  content  to  be 
ordered.  For  though  himself  take  his  phantasy  for  a 
true  revelation,  yet  sith  he  cannot  make  us  perceive  it  for 
such,  likewise  as  he  thinketh  himself  by  his  secret  com 
mandment  bounden  to  follow  it,  so  must  he  needs  agree, 
that  sith  it  is  against  the  plain  open  prohibition  of  God,  we 
be  by  the  plain  open  precept  bound  to  keep  him  from  it. 

VINCENT. — In  this  point,  uncle,  I  can  go  no  farther. 
But  now  if  he  were  on  the  other  side  perceived  to  mind 
his  destruction,  and  to  go  thereabout  without  heaviness 
of  heart,  thought  and  dulness,  what  way  were  there  to 
be  used  with  him  then  ? 

ANTONY. — Then  were  his  temptation,  as  I  told  you 
before,  properly  pertaining  to  our  matter.  For  _ 

,1  .  J      l  Ml-  1  »  SOrE  an*1 

then  were  he  in  a  sore  tribulation,  and  a  very  perilous  temp. 
perilous:  for  then  were  it  a  token,  that  the  tat(on< 
devil  had  either  by   bringing  him  into  some   great  sin, 
brought  him  into  despair,  or  peradventure  by  his  revela- 


tions  fouiiden  false  and  reproved,  or  by  some  secret  sin 
of  his  deprehended  and  divulged,  cast  him  both  in  despair 
of  heaven  through  fear,  and  in  a  weariness  of  this  life  for 
shame,  sith  he  seeth  his  estimation  lost  among  other  folk, 
of  whose  praise  he  was  wont  to  be  proud.  And  there 
fore,  cousin,  in  such  case  as  this  is,  the  man  is  to  be  fair 

handled  and  sweetly,  and  with  dulce  and  ten- 
(SooO  counsel  .  «/ ' 

anii  comfort  in    der  loving  words  to  be  put  in  good  courage, 

and  comforted  in  all  that  men  godly  may. 
And  here  must  they  put  him  in  mind,  that  if  he  despair 
not,  but  pull  up  his  courage  and  trust  in  God's  great 
mercy,  he  shall  have  in  conclusion  great  cause  to  be  glad 
of  this  fall.  For  before  he  stood  in  greater  peril  than  he 
was  ware  of,  while  he  took  himself  for  better  than  he  was, 
and  God,  for  favour  that  he  bare  him,  hath  suffered  him  to 
fall  deep  into  the  devil's  danger,  to  make  him  thereby  know 
what  he  was  while  he  took  himself  for  so  sure.  And 
therefore  as  he  suffered  him  then  to  fall  for  a  remedy 
against  over-bold  pride,  so  will  God  now  (if  the  man 
meeken  himself,  not  with  unfruitful  despair,  but  with 
fruitful  penance)  so  set  him  up  again  upon  his  feet,  and 
so  strengthen  him  with  his  grace,  that  for  this  one  fall 
that  the  devil  has  given  him,  he  shall  give  the  devil  an 

And  here  must  he  be  put  in  remembrance  of  Mary 
Magdalen,  of  the  prophet  David,  and  specially  of  St. 
Peter,  whose  high  bold  courage  took  a  foul  fall,  and  yet 
because  he  despaired  not  of  God's  mercy,  but  wept  and 
called  upon  it,  how  highly  God  took  him  into  his  favour 
again,  in  his  Holy  Scripture  is  well  testified,  and  well 
through  Christendom  known.  And  now  shall  it  be 
charitably  done,  if  some  good  virtuous  folk,  such  as  him 
self  esteemeth,  and  hath  afore  longed  to  stand  in  estima 
tion  with,  do  resort  sometime  unto  him,  not  only  to  give 
him  counsel,  but  also  to  ask  advice  and  counsel  of  him 
in  some  cases  of  their  own  conscience,  to  let  him  thereby 
perceive,  that  they  no  less  esteem  him  now,  but  rather 
more  than  they  did  before,  sith  they  think  him  now  by 
this  fall  better  expert  of  the  devil's  craft,  and  thereby  not 
only  better  instructed  himself,  but  also  better  able  to  give 


good  advice  and  counsel  to  others.  This  thing  will,  in  my 
mind,  well  amend  and  lift  up  his  courage  from  the  peril 
of  that  desperate  shame. 

VINCENT. — Methinketh,  uncle,  that  this  were  a  perilous 
thing.  For  it  may  peradventure  make  him  set  the  less 
by  his  fall,  and  thereby  cast  him  into  his  first  pride,  or 
into  his  other  sin  again,  the  falling  whereinto  drove  him 
into  this  despair. 

ANTONY. — I  do  not  mean,  cousin,  that  every  fool  shall  at 
adventure  fall  in  hand  with  him;  for  so,  lo,  might  it  hap 
to  do  harm  indeed.  But,  cousin,  if  a  cunning  physician 
have  a  man  in  hand,  he  can  well  discern,  when,  ^^  a  tojse 
and  how  long,  some  certain  medicine  is  neces-  rttsuiw  ts 
sary,  which  at  another  time  ministered,  or  at 
that  time  overlong  continued,  might  put  the  patient  in 
peril.  For  if  he  have  his  patient  in  an  ague,  to  the  cure 
whereof  he  needeth  his  medicines  (in  their  working)  cold  : 
yet  if  he  hap,  ere  that  fever  be  full  cured,  to  fall  into 
some  such  other  disease,  as  except  it  were  holpen  with 
hot  medicines  were  likely  to  kill  the  body  before  the 
fever  could  be  cured :  he  would  for  awhile  have  his 
most  care  to  the  cure  of  that  thing  wherein  were  most 
present  peril,  and  when  that  were  once  out  of  jeopardy, 
do  the  more  exact  diligence  after,  about  the  farther 
cure  of  the  fever.  And  likewise,  if  the  ship  were  in 
peril  to  fall  into  Scylla,  the  fear  of  falling  into  Charybdis 
on  the  other  side  shall  never  let  any  wise  master  thereof 
to  draw  him  from  Scylla  toward  Charybdis  ^t  teist  SJ,(PB 
first  of  all,  in  all  that  ever  he  may.  But  when  master. 
he  hath  him  once  so  far  away  from  Scylla  that  he  seeth 
himself  safe  out  of  that  danger,  then  will  he  begin 
to  take  good  heed  to  keep  him  well  from  the  other. 
And  in  likewise  when  this  man  is  falling  down  to  despair 
and  to  the  final  destruction  of  himself,  a  good,  wise, 
spiritual  leech  will  first  look  unto  that,  and  by  good  com 
fort  lift  up  his  courage :  and  when  he  seeth  that  peril 
well  past,  care  for  the  cure  of  his  other  faults  after. 
Howbeit,  even  in  the  giving  of  his  comfort,  he  may  find 
ways  enough  in  such  wise  to  temper  his  words,  that  the 
man  may  take  occasion  of  good  courage,  and  yet  far  from 


occasion  giving  of  new  recidivation  into  his  former  sin  : 
sith  the  great  part  of  his  counsel  shall  be  to  courage  him 
to  amendment,  and  that  is,  pardie,  far  from  falling  to  sin 

VINCENT. — I  think,  uncle,  that  folk  fall  into  this  un 
gracious  rnind  through  the  devil's  temptation  by  many 
more  means  than  one. 

ANTONY. — That  is,  cousin,  very  true.     For  the  devil 
taketh  his  occasions  as  he  seeth  them  fall  meet  for  him. 
Some  he  stirreth  to  it  through  weariness  of  themself  after 
some  great  loss,  some  for  fear  of  bodily  harm,  and  some, 
as  I  said,  for  fear  of  worldly  shame.     One  wist  I  myself, 
Tffote  tfjfs ei»  which  had  been  long  reputed  for  an  honest 
ample.  man,  which   was  fallen  in  such  a  phantasy, 

that  he  was  well  near  worn  away  therewith.  But  what 
he  was  tempted  to  do,  that  would  he  tell  no  man,  but  he 
told  unto  me  that  he  was  sore  cumbered,  and  that  it 
alway  ran  in  his  mind  that  folk's  phantasies  were  fallen 
from  him,  and  that  they  esteemed  not  his  wit  as  they 
were  wont  to  do,  but  ever  his  mind  gave  him  that  the 
people  began  to  take  him  for  a  fool.  And  folk,  of  truth, 
did  nothing  so  at  all,  but  reputed  him  both  for  wise  and 

Ctoootijer  Two  other  knew  I  that  were  marvellously 
examples,  afraid  that  they  should  kill  themself,  and 
could  tell  me  no  cause  wherefore  they  so  feared  it, 
but  only  that  their  own  mind  so  gave  them.  Neither 
loss  had  they  any  had,  nor  no  such  thing  toward  them, 
nor  none  occasion  of  any  worldly  shame  :  the  one  in  body 
very  well  liking  and  lusty,  and  wondrous  weary  were  they 
both  twain  of  that  mind,  and  alway  they  thought  that  do 
it  they  would  not  for  nothing,  but  nevertheless  they  ever 
feared  they  should.  And  wherefore  they  so  both  feared, 
neither  of  them  both  could  tell ;  and  the  one,  lest  he 
should  do  it,  desired  his  friends  to  bind  him. 

VINCENT. — This  is,  uncle,  a  marvellous  strange  manner. 

ANTONY. — Forsooth,  cousin,  I   suppose  that  many  of 

them  are   in   this   case.      The  devil,  as    I   said    before, 

seeketh  his  occasions.     For  as  St.  Peter  saith  :  Adversa- 

rius  vester  diabolus  quasi  leo  rugiens  circuit,  qucerens  quern 


dcvoret:* — Your  adversary,  the  devil,  as  a  roaring  lion, 
goeth  about,  seeking  whom  he  may  devour.  He  marketh 
therefore  well  the  state  and  the  condition  that  every  man 
standeth  in,  not  only  concerning  their  outward  things,  as 
lands,  possessions,  goods,  authority,  fame,  favour,  or 
hatred  of  the  world,  but  also  men's  complexions  within 
them,  as  health  or  sickness,  good  humour  or  bad,  by 
which  they  be  light-hearted  or  lumpish,  strong-hearted  or 
faint  and  feeble  of  spirit,  bold,  hardy,  or  timorous,  and 
fearful  of  courage.  And  after  as  these  things  minister 
him  matter  of  temptation,  so  useth  he  himself  in  the 
manner  of  his  temptation. 

Now  likewise  as  in  such  folk  that  are  full  of  young, 
warm,  lusty  blood  and  other  humours,  exciting  the  flesh 
to  filthy,  voluptuous  living,  the  devil  useth  to  make  these 
things  his  instruments  in  tempting  them  and  in  provoking 
them  thereunto  :  and  when  he  findeth  some  folk  full  of  hot 
blood  and  choler,  he  maketh  those  humours  his  instru 
ments  to  set  their  hearts  on  fire  in  wrath  and  very  fierce 
furious  anger :  so  when  he  findeth  some  folk  which 
through  some  dull  melancholious  humours  are  naturally 
disposed  to  fear,  he  casteth  sometime  such  a  fearful 
imagination  in  their  mind,  that  without  help  of  God  they 
can  never  cast  it  out  of  their  hearts. 

Some,  at  the  sudden  falling  of  some  horrible  thought 
into  their  mind,  have  not  only  had  a  great  abomination 
thereat  (which  abomination  they  well  and  virtuously  had 
thereat),  but  the  devil  using  their  melancholious  humour 
(and  thereby  their  natural  inclination  to  fear)  for  his  in 
strument,  hath  caused  them  to  conceive  therewith  such  a 
deep  dread  beside,  that  they  ween  themself  with  that 
abominable  thought,  to  be  fallen  into  such  an  outrageous 
sin,  that  they  be  ready  to  fall  into  despair  of  grace, 
weening-  that  God  hath  given  them  over  for  ever :  whereas 
that  thought  (were  it  never  so  horrible  and  never  so 
abominable)  is  yet  unto  them  that  never  like  it,  but  even 
still  abhor  it,  and  strive  still  there  against,  matter  of  con 
flict  and  merit,  and  not  any  sin  at  all. 

Some  have,  with  holding  a  knife  in  their  hands,  sud- 
*  1  Pet.  v. 

156  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 

denly  thought  upon  the  killing  of  themself,  and  forthwith 
in  devising  what  an  horrible  thing  it  were,  if  they  should 
mishap  so  to  do,  have  fallen  into  a  fear  that  they  should 
do  so  indeed,  and  have  with  often  thinking  thereon  im 
printed  that  fear  so  sore  in  their  imagination,  that  some  of 
them  have  not  after  cast  it  off  without  great  difficulty,  and 
some  could  never  in  their  life  be  rid  thereof,  but  have 
after  in  conclusion  miserably  done  it  indeed.  But  like 
wise  as  where  the  devil  useth  the  blood  of  a  man's  own 
body  toward  his  purpose  in  provoking  him  to  lechery, 
the  man  must,  and  doth,  with  grace  and  wisdom,  resist 
it  :  so  must  that  man  do,  whose  melancholious  humours 
the  devil  abuseth  toward  the  casting  of  such  a  desperate 
dread  into  his  heart. 

VINCENT.  —  I  pray  you,  uncle,  what  advice  were  to  be 
given  him  in  such  case  ? 

ANTONY.  —  Surely  methinketh  his  help  standeth  in 
two  things,  —  counsel  and  prayer.  First,  as  concerning 
counsel,  likewise  as  it  may  be  that  he  hath  two  things 

that  hold  him  in  his  temptation  ;  that  is,  to  wit, 
£f)e  mean  fioto  .  .  \  .  '  1,1 

to  resist  tins      some  evil   humours  or  his  own  body,  and  the 

cursed  devil  that  abuseth  them  to  his  perni 
cious  purpose  :  so  must  he  need  against  them  twain  the 
counsel  of  two  manner  of  folk  :  that  is,  to  wit,  physicians 
for  the  body  and  physicians  for  the  soul.  The  bodily 
physician  shall  consider  what  abundance  the  man  hath  of 
these  evil  humours  that  the  devil  maketh  his  instruments 
of,  in  moving  the  man  toward  that  fearful  affection,  and 

as    we^    ^      ^^    convenient,   and    medicines 

pro=  meet  therefor,  to  resist  them,  as  by  purgations 
to  disburden  the  body  of  them.  Nor  let  no 
man  think  strange  that  I  would  advise  a  man  to  take 
counsel  of  a  physician  for  the  body  in  such  a  spiritual 
passion.  For  sith  the  soul  and  the  body  be  so  knit  and 
joined  together,  that  they  both  make  between  them  one 
person  ;  the  distemperance  of  either  other  engendereth 
sometime  the  distemperance  of  both  twain. 

And  therefore,  like  as  I  would  advise  every  man  in 
every  sickness  of  the  body,  to  be  shriven  and  seek  of  a 
good  spiritual  physician  the  sure  health  of  his  soul, 


which  shall  not  only  serve  against  peril  that  may  perad- 
venture  farther  grow  by  that  sickness  than  in  e^stly  anlj 
the  beginning  men  would  ween  were  likely  :  but  toinip  jftpsfc 
the  comfort  thereof  and  God's  favour  increasing  **  ea 
therewith,  shall  also  do  the  body  good  (for  which  cause 
the  blessed  apostle  exhorteth  men,*'  that  they  should  in 
their  bodily  sickness  induce  the  priests,  and  saith,  that  it 
should  do  them  good  both  in  body  and  soul),  so  would  I 
sometime  advise  some  men  in  some  sickness  of  the  soul, 
beside  their  spiritual  leech,  take  also  some  counsel  of  the 
physician  for  the  body.  Some  that  are  wretchedly  dis 
posed,  and  yet  long  to  be  more  vicious  than  they  be,  go 
to  physicians  and  poticaries,  and  inquire  what  things  may 
serve  to  make  them  more  lusty  to  their  foul  fleshly 
delight :  and  were  it  then  any  folly  upon  the  other  side,  if 
he  that  feeleth  himself  against  his  will  much  moved  unto 
such  uncleanness,  should  inquire  of  the  physician  what 
things,  without  minishing  of  his  health,  were  meet  for 
the  minishment  of  such  foul  fleshly  motion  ?  Of  spiritual 
counsel,  the  first  is  to  be  shriven,  that  by  reason  of  his 
other  sins  the  devil  have  not  the  more  power  upon  him. 

VINCENT. — I  have  heard  some  say,  uncle,  that  when 
such  folk  have  been  at  shrift,  their  temptation  hath  been 
more  brim  upon  them  than  it  was  before. 

ANTONY. — That  think  I  very  well :  but  that  rtebtrtue  of 
is  a  special  token  that  shrift  is  wholesome  for  wnfesston- 
them,  while  the  devil  is  with  that  most  wroth.  You  find 
in  some  places  of  the  Gospel,  that  the  devil  the  person 
(whom  he  possessed)  did  most  trouble  when  he  saw  that 
Christ  would  cast  him  out.f  We  must  else  let  the  devil 
do  what  he  will,  if  we  fear  his  anger  :  for  with  every  good 
deed  will  he  wax  angry.  Then  is  it  in  his  shrift  to  be 
shewed  him,  that  he  not  only  feareth  more  than  he 
needeth,  but  also  feareth  where  he  needeth  not,  and  over 
that,  is  sorry  of  that  thing  whereof  (but  if  he  will  will 
ingly  turn  his  good  into  his  harm)  he  hath  more  cause  to 
be  glad.  First,  if  he  have  cause  to  fear,  yet  feareth  he 
more  than  he  needeth  ;  for  there  is  no  devil  so  diligent  to 
destroy  him  as  God  is  to  preserve  him,  nor  no  devil  so  near 

*  Jacob,  v.  f  Marc.  ix. 


him  to  do  him  harm  as  God  is  to  do  him  good :  nor  all  the 
devils  in  hell  so  strong  to  invade  and  assault  him  as  God 
is  to  defend  him,  if  he  distrust  him  not,  but  faithfully  put 
his  trust  in  him.  He  feareth  also  when  he  needeth  not. 
For  where  he  dreadeth  that  he  were  out  of  God's  favour, 
because  such  horrible  thoughts  fall  into  his  mind,  he 
must  understand  that  sith  they  fall  into  his  mind  against 
his  will,  they  be  therefore  not  imputed  unto  him.  He  is 
finally  sad  of  that  he  may  be  glad  :  for  sith  he  taketh  such 
thoughts  displeasantly,  and  striveth  and  fighteth  against 
them,  he  hath  thereby  a  good  token  that  he  is  in  God's 
favour,  and  that  God  assisteth  him  and  helpeth  him, 
and  may  make  himself  sure,  that  so  will  God  never  cease 
to  do,  but  if  himself  fail  and  fall  from  him  first.  And  over 
that,  this  conflict  that  he  hath  against  his  temptation, 
shall  (if  he  will  not  fall  where  he  needeth  not)  be  an 
occasion  of  his  merit,  and  a  right  great  reward  in  heaven : 
and  the  pain  that  he  taketh  therein  shall  for  so  much 
(as  M.  Gerson  well  sheweth)  stand  him  in  stead  of  his 

The  manner  of  the  fight  against  this  tempta- 
tion  mus^  stand  in  three  things  :  that  is,  to 
W^>  *n  resistmg  and  in  contemning,  and  in 
the  invocation  of  help. 

Resist  must  a  man  for  his  own  part  by  reason,  con 
sidering  what  a  folly  it  were  to  fall  where  he  needeth  not, 
while  he  is  not  driven  to  it  in  avoiding  any  other  pain,  or 
in  the  hope  of  winning  any  manner  of  pleasure :  but 
contrariwise  should  by  that  pain  lose  everlasting  bliss 
and  fall  into  everlasting  pain  :  and  if  it  were  in  avoiding 
of  other  great  pain,  yet  could  he  void  none  so  great 
thereby,  as  he  should  thereby  fall  into.  He  must  also 
consider,  that  a  great  part  of  this  temptation  is  in  effect 
but  the  fear  of  his  own  phantasy,  the  dread  that  he  hath 
lest  he  shall  once  be  driven  to  it.  Which  thing  he  may 
be  sure,  that,  but  if  himself  will  of  his  own  folly,  all  the 
devils  in  hell  can  never  drive  him  to,  but  his  own  foolish 
asfrnfitttuje  of  imagination  may.  For  like  as  some  man  going 
t&t  triage,  over  an  high  bridge,  waxeth  so  afraid  through 
his  own  phantasy,  that  he  falleth  down  indeed,  which  were 


else  able  enough  to  pass  over  without  any  danger;  and 
as  some  man  shall  upon  such  a  bridge,  if  folk  call  upon 
him,  *  You  fall,  you  fall,"  fall  with  the  phantasy  that 
he  taketh  thereof,  which  bridge,  if  folk  looked  merrily 
upon  him,  and  said,  there  is  no  danger  therein,  he  would 
pass  over  well  enough,  and  would  not  let  to  run  thereon, 
if  it  were  but  a  foot  from  the  ground  :  thus  fareth  it  in 
this  temptation.  The  devil  findeth  the  man  of  his  own 
fond  phantasy  afraid,  and  then  crieth  he  in  the  ear  of  his 
heart,  "Thou  fallest,  thou  fallest,"  and  maketh  the  fond 
man  afraid,  that  he  should  at  every  foot  fall  indeed.  And 
the  devil  so  wearieth  him  with  that  continual  fear  (if  he 
give  the  ear  of  his  heart  unto  him),  that  at  the  last  he 
draweth  his  mind  from  the  due  remembrance  of  God,  and 
then  driveth  him  to  that  deadly  mischief  indeed. 

Therefore,  like  as  against  the  vice  of  the  flesh,  the  vic 
tory  standeth  not  all  whole  in  the  fight,  but  fu^t  te  flooB 
sometime  also  in  the  flight  (saving  that  it  sometime. 
is  indeed  the  part  of  a  wise  warrior's  fight,  to  atofsetoarrfor. 
flee  away  from  his  enemies'  trains),  so  must  a  man  in  this 
temptation  too,  not  only  resist  it  alway  with  reasoning 
there  against,  but  sometime  set  it  clean  at  right  nought, 
and  cast  it  off  when  it  cometh,  and  not  once  regard  it, 
nor  so  much  as  vouchsafe  to  think  thereon.  Some  folk 
have  been  clearly  rid  of  such  pestilent  phantasies  with 
very  full  contempt  thereof,  making  a  cross  upon  their 
hearts  and  bidding  the  devil  avaunt,  and  sometime  laugh 
him  to  scorn  too,  and  then  turn  their  mind  unto  some 
other  matter.  Arid  when  the  devil  hath  seen  that  they 
have  set  so  little  by  him,  after  many  essays,  made  in  such 
times  as  he  thought  most  meet,  he  hath  given  that  temp 
tation  quite  over,  both  for  that  the  proud  spirit  cannot 
endure  to  be  mocked,  and  also  lest  with  much  tempting 
the  man  to  the  same,  whereunto  he  could  not  in  con 
clusion  bring  him,  he  should  much  thereby  increase  his 

The  final  fight  is  by  invocation  of  God  both  by  praying 
for  himself,  and  desiring  others  also  to  pray  for  him,  both 
poor  folk  for  his  alms,  and  other  good  folk  for  their 

160  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 

charity,  specially  good  priests  in  the  holy  sacred  service 
of  the  Mass,  and  not  only  them,  but  also  his  own  good 
angel,  and  other  holy  saints,  such  as  his  devotion  stand- 
eth  specially  unto.  And  if  he  be  learned,  let  him  use  the 
Litany  with  the  holy  suffrages  that  follow,  which  is  a 
srdeiLttanpisa  prayer  in  the  church  of  marvellous  old  anti- 
berj?  ouj  prajer.  quity,  not  made  first,  as  some  ween  it  were, 
by  that  holy  man  St.  Gregory,  which  opinion  rose  of  that, 
that  in  the  time  of  a  great  pestilence  in  Rome,  he  caused 
the  whole  city  to  go  in  solemn  procession  therewith ;  but 
it  was  in  use  in  the  church  many  years  before  St.  Gre 
gory's  days,  as  well  appeareth  by  the  books  of  other  holy 
doctors  and  saints  that  were  dead  hundreds  of  years 
before  St.  Gregory  was  born.  And  holy  St.  Bernard 
Draper  to  an*  giveth  counsel,  that  every  man  should  make 
ueisanu  saints.  sujt  to  angels  and  saints,  to  pray  for  him  to 
God  in  the  things  that  he  would  have  sped  at  his  holy 
hand.*"  If  any  man  will  stick  at  that,  and  say  it  needs 
not,  because  God  can  hear  us  himself,  and  will  also  say 
that  it  is  perilous  so  to  do,  because  they  say  we  be  not  so 
counselled  by  no  Scripture ;  I  will  not  dispute  the  matter 
here.  He  that  will  not  do  it,  I  let  him  not  to  leave  it 
undone.  But  yet  for  mine  own  part,  I  will  as  well  trust 
to  the  counsel  of  St.  Bernard,  and  reckon  him  for  as  good 
and  as  well  learned  in  the  Holy  Scripture,  as  any  man 
that  I  hear  say  the  contrary  :  and  better  dare  I  jeopard 
my  soul  with  the  soul  of  St.  Bernard  than  with  his  that 
findeth  that  fault  in  his  doctrine. 

Unto  God  himself  every  man  counselleth  to  have  re 
course  above  all,  and  in  this  temptation  to  have  special 
remembrance  of  Christ's  passion,  and  pray  him  for  the 
honour  of  his  death,  the  ground  of  man's  salvation,  to 
keep  the  person  thus  tempted  from  that  damnable  death. 
Special  verses  may  there  be  drawn  out  of  the  Psalter 
against  the  devil's  wicked  temptations,  as  for  example : 
Exurgat  Deus,  et  dissipentur  inimici  ejus,  et  fugiant  qui 
oderunt  eum  a  facie  ejus  .-f- — And  many  others,  which  are 

*  Bernard,  Serm.  de  tripl.  genere  bonorum,  et  Serm.  in  Festo  Omnium 
Sanctorum,  et  alias  ssepe.  t  Psal.  btvii. 


in  such  horrible  temptation  to  God  most  pleasant,  and  to 
the  devil  very  terrible  :  but  none  more  terrible,  nor  none 
more  odious  to  the  devil,  than  the  words  with  which  our 
Saviour  drove  him  away  himself: — Vade  Sathana*  —  nor 
no  prayer  more  acceptable  unto  God,  nor  more  effectual 
for  the  matter,  than  those  words  which  our  Saviour  hath 
taught  himself, — Ne  nos  inducas  in  tentationem,  scd  libcra 
nos  a  malo.-\-  And  I  doubt  not,  by  God's  grace,  but  he 
that  in  such  a  temptation  will  use  good  counsel  and 
prayer,  and  keep  himself  in  good  virtuous  busi-  Gt^  MUWV& 
ness  and  good  virtuous  company,  and  abide  f«a»pa«J- 
in  the  faithful  hope  of  God's  help,  shall  have  the  truth 
of  God  (as  the  prophet  saith  in  the  verse  afore  rehearsed) 
so  compass  him  about  with  a  pavice,  that  he  shall  not 
need  to  dread  this  night's  fear  of  this  wicked  temptation. 
And  thus  \vill  I  finish  this  piece  of  the  night's  fear,  and 
glad  am  I  that  we  be  past  it,  and  come  once  unto  the  day 
to  those  other  words  of  the  prophet  : — A  sagitta  volants 
in  die:  for  methinketh  I  have  made  it  a  long  night. 

*  Matth.  iv.  f  Matth.  vi. 

162  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 


Of  the  arrow  flying  in  the  day,  which  is,   the  spirit  of 
pride  in  prosperity. 

INCENT. — FORSOOTH,  uncle,  so  have  you  : 
but  we  have  not  slept  in  it,  but  been  very 
well  occupied.  But  now  I  fear,  except  you 
make  here  a  pause  till  you  have  dined,  you 
shall  keep  yourself  from  your  dinner  over 

ANTONY. — Nay,  my  cousin,  for  both  brake  I  my  fast 
even  as  you  came  in,  and  also  you  shall  find  this  night 
and  this  day  like  a  winter  day  and  a  winter  night.  For 
as  the  winter  hath  short  days,  and  long  nights,  so  shall 
you  find  that  I  made  not  this  fearful  night  so  long,  but  I 
shall  make  you  this  light  courageous  day  as  short.  And 
so  shall  the  matter  require  well  of  itself  indeed.  For  in 
these  words  of  the  prophet :  Scuto  circumdabit  te  veritas 
ejus,  a  sagitta  volante  in  die, — The  truth  of  God  shall 
compass  thee  round  about  with  a  pavice,  from  the  arrow 
flying  in  the  day,* — I  understand  the  arrow  of  pride,  with 
which  the  devil  tempteth  a  man,  not  in  the  night,  that  is 
to  wit,  in  tribulation  and  adversity  (for  that  time  is  too 
discomfortable  and  too  fearful  for  pride),  but  in  the  day, 
that  is,  to  wit,  in  prosperity ;  for  that  time  is  lightsome, 
lusty,  and  full  of  courage. 

Mat  tooriuip  But  surely  this  worldly  prosperity,  wherein 
prosperity  ts.  a  man  so  rejoiceth,  and  whereof  the  devil 
rnaketh  him  so  proud,  is  but  even  a  very  short  winter  day. 

*  Psal.  xc. 


For  we  begin  many  full  poor  and  cold,  and  up  we  fly  like 
an  arrow  that  were  shot  up  into  the  air  :  and  yet  when 
we  be  suddenly  shot  up  into  the  highest,  ere  we  be  well 
warm  there,  down  we  come  unto  the  cold  ground  again, 
and  then  even  there  stick  we  still.     And  yet  for  the  short 
while   that  we  be  upward  and  aloft :   Lord  !   how   lusty 
and   how  proud   we  be,  buzzing  above  busily  like  as  u 
bumble   bee   flieth    about  in    summer,   never 
ware  that  he  shall  die  in  winter:  and  so  fare  € 
many  of  us,  God  help  us !     For  in  the  short  winter  day 
of  worldly  wealth  and  prosperity,  this  flying  arrow  of  the 
devil,  this  high  spirit  of  pride,  shot  out  of  the  devil's  bow 
and  piercing  through  our  heart,  beareth  us   up  in   our 
affection  aloft  into  the  clouds,  where  we  ween  we  sit  upon 
the  rainbow   and    overlook   all  the  world  under  us,  ac 
counting  in  the  regard  of  our  own  glory  such  other  poor 
souls,   as  were  perad  venture  wont  to  be  our  fellows,  for 
silly  poor  pigmies  and  ants.     But  this  arrow  of  pride,  fly 
it  never  so  high  into  the  clouds,  and  be  the  man  that  it 
carrieth  up  so  high,  never  so  joyful  thereof:  yet  let  him 
remember,  that  be  this  arrow  never  so  light,  it  hath  yet 
an  heavy  iron  head.     And  therefore  fly  it  never  so  high, 
down  must  it  needs  come  at  last,  and  on  the  »r<*wne*t 
ground  must  it  light,  and  falleth  sometime  not  tweafaii. 
in  a  very  cleanly  place :  and  then  the  pride  turneth  into 
rebuke  and  shame,  so  that  there  is  then  all  the  glory 

Of  this  arrow  speaketh  the  wise  man  in  the  fifth  chap 
ter  of  Sapience,  where  he  saith  in  the  person  of  them  that 
in  pride  and  vanity  passed  the  time  of  this  present  life, 
and  after  that  so  spent,  passed  hence  into  hell :  Quid 
profuit  nobis  superbia?  aut  divitiarumjactantia  quid  con- 
tullt  nobis  ?  Transierunt  omnia  ilia  tanquam  umbra,  etc. 
aut  tanquam sagitta  emissain  locum  destinatum :  divisus  aer 
continue  in  se  reclusus  est,  ut  ignoretur  transitus  illius  :  tic 
et  nosnati  continue  desivimus  esse,  et  virtutis  quidem  nulluni 
signum  valaimus  ostendere :  in  malignitate  autem  nostra 
consumpti  sumus.  Talia  dixerunt  in  inferno  hi  qui  pecca- 
verunt  :*— What  hath  pride  profited  us,  or  what  good  hath 

*  Sapien.  v. 
M    2 


the  glory  of  our  riches  done  us  ?  Passed  are  all  these 
things  like  a  shadow,  &c.,  or  like  an  arrow  shot  out  into 
the  place  appointed  :  the  air  that  was  divided,  is  by-and- 
by  returned  into  the  place,  and  in  such  wise  closed  up 
again,  that  the  way  is  not  perceived  in  which  the  arrow 
went :  and  in  likewise  \ve,  as  soon  as  we  were  born,  be  by- 
and-by  vanished  away,  and  have  left  no  token  of  any  good 
virtue  behind  us,  but  are  consumed,  and  wasted,  and  come 
to  nought  in  our  own  malignity.  They,  lo,  that  have  lived 
here  in  sin,  such  words  have  they  spoken  when  they  lay 
in  hell. 

Here  shall  you,  good  cousin,  consider,  that  whereas  the 
Scripture  here  speaketh  of  the  arrow  shot  into  his  place 
appointed  or  intended;  in  the  shooting  of  this  arrow  of 
pride  there  be  divers  purposings  and  appointings.     For 
ox~otr  tfje  sfjot  the  proud  man  hath  no  certain  purpose  or  ap- 
of  urine.  '     pointraent  at  any  mark,  butt,  or  prick  upon 
the  earth  whereat   he  determineth  to  shoot,  and  there  to 
stick  and  tarry  :  but  ever  he  shooteth  as  children  do  that 
love  to  shoot  up  a  cope  high,  to  see  how  high  their  arrow 
can  fly  up.     But  now  doth  the  devil  intend  and  appoint  a 
certain  prick  surely  set  in  a  place,  into  which  he  pur- 
poseth  (fly  this  arrow  never  so  high,  and  the  proud  heart 
therein)  to  have  them  light  both   at  last :  and  that  place 
is  even  in  the  very  pit  of  hell.     There  is  set  the  devil's 
rijcmarfcor    well-acquainted  prick,  and  his  very  just  mark, 
imttof  priue.  ^o^u  upon  which  prick  with  his  pricking  shaft 
of  pride  he  hath  by  himself  a  plain  proof  and  experience 
that  (but  if  it  be  stopped  by  some  grace  of  God  in  the 
way)  the  soul  that  flieth  up  therewith,  can  never  fail  to 
fall.  For  when  himself  was  in  heaven,  and  began  to  fly  up 
a  cope  high  with  that  lusty  flight  of  pride,  saying  :  Ascen 
dant  super  astra,  etponam  solium  meum  ad  latera  aquilonis, 
et  similis  ero  Altis&imo,* — I  will  fly  up  above  the  stars,  and 
set  my  throne  on  the  side  of  the  north,  and  will  be  like 
unto  the  Highest :  long  ere  he  could  fly  half  so  high,  as 
in  his  heart  he  said   he  would,  he  was  turned  from  a 
glorious  bright  angel  into  a  black  deformed  devil  ;  and 
from  flying  any    farther  upward,  down  was  he  thrown 

*  Isaise  xiv. 


into  the  deep  dark  dungeon    of  hell.     Now  may  it  per- 
adventure,  cousin,  seem,  that  sith  this  kind  of 
temptation  of  pride  is   no  tribulation  or  pain  ;   1LucWer  s  fall< 
all  this  that  we   speak  of  this  arrow  of  pride  flying  forth 
in  the  day  of  prosperity  were  beside  our  matter. 

VINCENT. — Verily,  mine  uncle,  and  so  seemed  it  unto 
me,  and  somewhat  was  I  minded  so  to  say  to  you  too : 
saving  that,  were  it  properly  pertaining  to  the  present 
matter,  or  somewhat  digressing  therefrom,  good  matter 
met  bought  it  was,  and  such  as  1  had  no  lust  to  let. 

ANTONY. — But  now  must  you,  cousin,  consider,  that 
though  prosperity  be  contrary  to  tribulation,  yet  unto 
many  a  good  man  the  devil's  temptation  unto  pride  in 
prosperity,  is  a  greater  tribulation,  and  more  need  hath  of 
good  counsel  and  good  comfort  both,  than  he,  that  never 
felt  it,  would  ween.  And  that  is  the  thing,  cousin,  that 
maketh  me  speak  thereof,  as  of  a  thing  proper  to  this 
matter.  For,  cousin,  as  it  is  a  thing  right  hard  to  touch 
pitch,*  and  never  file  the  fingers,  to  put  flax  unto  fire,  and 
yet  keep  it  from  burning,  to  keep  a  serpent  in  thy  bosom, 
and  yet  be  safe  from  stinging,  to  put  young  men  with 
young  women,  without  danger  of  foul  fleshly  desires :  so 
is  it  hard  for  any  person,  either  man  or  woman,  agi^  is 
in  great  worldly  wealth  and  much  prosperity,  &a«B"ous. 
so  to  withstand  the  temptations  of  the  devil,  and  the 
occasions  given  by  the  world,  that  they  should  keep 
themself  from  the  deadly  desire  of  ambitious  glory. 
Whereupon  there  followeth,  if  a  man  fall  thereto,  an 
whole  flood  of  ail  unhappy  mischief,  arrogant  manner, 
high  sullen  solemn  port,  overlooking  the  poor  in  word 
and  countenance,  displeasant  and  disdainous  behaviour, 
ravine,  extortion,  oppression,  hatred,  and  cruelty. 

How  many  a  good  man,  cousin,  coming  into  great 
authority,  casting  in  his  mind  the  peril  of  such  occasions 
of  pride  as  the  devil  taketh  of  prosperity  to  make  his  in 
struments  of,  wherewith  to  move  men  to  such  high  point 
of  presumption,  as  en^endereth  so  many  great  inconve 
niences,  and  feeling  the  devil  therewith  offering  to  them- 

*  Eccles.  xiii. 

166  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 

self  suggestions  thereunto,  they  be  sore  troubled  there 
with,   and  somewhat  so  fraid  thereof,  that  even  in  the 
day  of  prosperity  they  fall  into  the  night's  fear  of  pusil 
lanimity,  and  doubt  overmuch   lest  they  should  misuse 
themself,   leave  the  things  undone,  wherein  they  might 
use  themself  well,  and  mistrusting  the  aid  of  God  in  hold 
ing  them  upright  in  their  temptations,   give  place  to  the 
devil  in  contrary  temptations.     Whereby  for  faint  heart, 
they  leave  off  good  business  wherein  they  were  well  occu 
pied,  arid   under  pretext  (as  it  seemeth   to  themself)  of 
humble  heart  and  meekness,  and  serving  God  in  contem 
plation  and  silence,  they  seek  their  own  ease  and  earthly 
rest   unaware,   wherewith  (if  it  so   be)   God  is  not  well 
content.     Howbeit,  if  it  so  be  that  a  man  feel  himself 
such  indeed,  as  by  the  experience  that  he  hath  of  himself, 
he  perceiveth  that  in  wealth  and   authority  he  doth  his 
own  soul  harm,  and  cannot  do  therein  the  good  that  to 
his  part  appertained!,  but  seeth  the  things  that  he  should 
set  his  hand  to  sustain  decay  through  his  default,  and 
fall  to  ruin  under  him,  and  that  to  the  amendment  thereof 
©ooft  counsel   ne  leaveth  his  own  duty  undone;  then  would  I 
in  tuts  case.    jn  anywise  advise  him,  to  leave  off  that  thing, 
be  it  spiritual  benefice  that  he  have,  parsonage  or  bishopric, 
or  temporal  room  and  authority,  and  rather  give  it  over 
quite,  and  draw  himself  aside  and  serve  God,  than  take 
the  worldly  worship  and  commodity  for  himself,  with  the 
incommodity  of  them  whom  his  duty  were  to  profit.     But 
on  the  other  side,  if  he  see  not  the  contrary,  but  that 
he  may  do  his  duty  conveniently  well,   and  feareth  no 
thing,  but  only  that  the  temptation  of  ambition  and  pride 
may  turn  peradventure  his  good  purpose  and  make  him 
decline  unto  sin,  I  say  not  nay,  but  that  well  done  it  is,  to 
stand   in    moderate    fear   alway,    whereof  the    Scripture 
saith  :    JBeatus  homo,   qui  semper  est  pavidus — Blessed  is 
the  man  that  is  alway  fearful  :*  and  St.  Paul  saith  :   Qui 
stat,  videat  ne  cadat — He  that  standeth,  let  him  look  that 
he  fall  not  :f  yet  is  over  much  fear  perilous,  and  draweth 
toward  the  mistrust  of  God's  gracious  help,  which  immo- 
*  Proverb,  xxvhi.  f  1  Cor.  x. 


derate  fear  and  faint  heart  Holy  Scripture  forbiddeth, 
saying  :  Noli  esse  pusillanirnis — Be  not  feeble  hearted  or 

Let  such  a  man  therefore  temper  his  fear  with  good 
hope,  and  think,  that  sith  God  hath  set  him  in  that  place 
(if  he  think  that  God  hath  set  him  therein),  God  will 
assist  him  with  his  grace  to  the  well  using  thereof:  how- 
beit,  if  he  came  thereto  by  simony  or  by  some  such  evil 
mean,  then  were  that  thing  one  good  reason,  wherefore 
he  should  the  rather  leave  it  off.  But  else,  let  him  con 
tinue  in  his  good  business,  and  against  the  devil's  provo 
cation  unto  evil,  bless  himself,  and  call  unto  God,  and 
pray;  and  look  what  thing  the  devil  tempteth,  to  lean  the 
more  toward  the  contrary.  Let  him  be  piteous  and  com 
fortable  to  those  that  are  in  distress  and  affliction  :  I 
mean  not,  let  every  malefactor  pass  forth' unpunished,  and 
freely  run  out  and  rob  at  covers,  but  in  his  heart  be  sorry 
to  see,  that  of  necessity  for  fear  of  decaying  the  common 
weal,  men  are  driven  to  put  malefactors  to  pain.  And 
yet  where  he  findeth  good  tokens  and  likelihood  of 
amendment,  there,  in  all  that  he  may,  help  that  mercy  be 
had  :  there  shall  never  lack  desperately  disposed  wretches 
enough  beside,  upon  whom,  for  ensample,  justice  may 
proceed.  Let  him  think  in  his  own  heart  every  poor 
beggar  his  fellow. 

VINCENT.  —  That  will  be  very  hard,  uncle,  for  an 
honourable  man  to  do,  when  he  beholdeth  himself  richly 
apparelled,  and  the  beggar  rigged  in  his  rags. 

ANTONY. — If  here   were,   cousin,  two   men 
that  were  beggars  both,  and  afterward  a  great  fmp™ o7 1£ 
rich  man  would  take  the  one  unto  him,  and  tCGflars- 
tell  him,  that  for  a  little  time  he  would  have  him  in  his 
house,  and  thereupon  arrayed  him  in  silk,  and  gave  him  a 
great  bag  by  his  side  filled  even  full  of  gold,   but  giving 
him  this  knot  therewith,  that  within  a  little  while,  out  he 
should  in  his  old  rags  again,  and  bear  never  a  penny  with 
him.     If  this  beggar  met  his  fellow  now,  while  his  gay 
gown  were  on,  might  he  not  for  all  his  gay  gear  take  hiiii 
for  his  fellow  still  ?     And  were  he  not  a  very  fool,  if  for  a 
*  Eccles.  viii. 

168  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 

wealth  of  a  few  weeks  he  would  ween  himself  far  his 
better  ? 

VINCENT. — Yes,  by  my  troth,  uncle,  if  the  difference  of 
their  state  were  none  other.  .•*•"*.' 

ANTONY. — Surely,  cousin,  methinketh  that  in  this  world 
between  the  richest  and  the  most  poor  the  difference  is 
scant  so  much.  For  let  the  highest  look  on  the  most  base, 
and  consider  how  poor  they  came  both  into  this  world, 
and  then  coi  .sider  farther  therewith  how  rich  soever  he  be 
now,  he  shall  yet  within  a  while,  peradventure  less  than 
one  week,  walk  out  again  as  poor  as  that  beggar  shall ; 
and  then,  by  my  troth,  methinketh  this  rich  man  much 
more  than  mad,  if  for  the  wealth  of  a  little  while,  haply 
less  than  one  week,  he  reckon  himself  in  ear- 
tftan"? Scgp?s  nest  any  better  than  the  beggar's  fellow.  And 
less  than  this  can  no  man  think  that  hath  any 
natural  wit,  and  will  use  it. 

But  now  a  Christian  man,  cousin,  that  hath  the  light  of 
faith,  cannot  fail  to  think  in  this  thing  much  farther.  For 
he  will  think  not  only  upon  his  bare  coming  hither,  and 
his  bare  going  hence  again,  but  also  upon  the  dreadful 
judgment  of  God,  and  upon  the  fearful  pains  of  hell,  and 
the  inestimable  joys  of  heaven.  And  in  the  considering 
of  these  things  he  will  call  to  remembrance,  that  perad 
venture  when  this  beggar  and  he  be  both  departed  hence, 
the  beggar  may  be  suddenly  set  up  in  such  royalty,  that 
well  were  himself  that  ever  he  was  born,  if  he  might  be 
made  his  fellow.  And  he  that  well  bethinketh  him, 
cousin,  upon  these  things,  I  verily  think  that  the  arrow  of 
pride  flying  forth  in  the  day  of  worldly  wealth  shall  never 
so  wound  his  heart  that  ever  it  shall  bear  him  up  one 

But  now  to  the  intent  he  may  think  on  such  things  the 
better,  let  him  use  often  to  resort  to  confession,  and  there 
open  his  heart,  and  by  the  mouth  of  some  good  virtuous 
ghostly  father  have  such  things  oft  renewed  in  his  remem- 
Specfai  fiooir  brance.  Let  him  also  choose  himself  some 

counsel  aptnst  secret  solitary  place  in  his  own  house,  as  far 
pntte,  *c.  f  .  J  \  . 

from  noise  a:nd  company  as  he  conveniently 

can,   and  thither  let  him  sometime  secretly  resort  alone, 


imagining  himself  as  one  going  out  of  the  world,^  even 
straight  unto  the  giving  up  of  his  reckoning  unto  God  of 
his  sinful  living.  "Then  let  him  there  before  an  altar,  or 
some  pitiful  image  of  Christ's  bitter  passion  (the  behold 
ing  whereof  may  put  him  in  remembrance  of  the  thing, 
and  move  him  to  devout  compassion),  kneel  down  or  fall 
prostrate,  as  at  the  feet  of  Almighty  God,  verily  believing 
him  to  be  there  invisibly  present,  as  without  any  doubt  he 
is.  There  let  him  open  his  heart  to  God,  and  confess  his 
faults  such  as  he  can  call  to  mind,  and  pray  God  of  for 
giveness.  Let  him  also  call  to  remembrance  the  benefits 
that  God  hath  given  him  either  in  general  among  other- 
men,  or  privately  to  himself,  and  give  him  humble  hearty 
thanks  therefor.  There  let  him  declare  unto  God  the 
temptations  of  the  devil,  the  suggestions  of  the  flesh,  the 
occasions  of  the  world,  and  of  his  worldly  friends, 
much  worse  many  times  in  drawing  a  man  from  God 
than  are  his  most  mortal  enemies.  Which  thing  our 
Saviour  witnesseth  himself,  where  he  saith  :  Inimici  ho- 
minis  domestid  ejus, — The  enemies  of  a  man  are  they  that 
are  his  own  familiars.*  There  let  him  lament  and  bewail 
unto  God  his  own  frailty,  negligence,  and  sloth  in  resist 
ing  and  withstanding  of  temptations,  his  readiness  and 
pronity  to  fall  thereunto.  There  let  him  beseech  God  of 
his  gracious  aid  and  help,  to  strength  his  infirmity  withal, 
both  in  keeping  him  from  falling,  and  when  he  by  his 
own  fault  misfortuneth  to  fall,  then  with  the  helping 
hand  of  his  merciful  grace  to  lift  him  up  and  set  him  on 
his  feet  in  the  state  of  his  grace  again,  and  let  this  man 
not  doubt  but  that  God  heareth  him,  and  granteth  him 
gladly  this  boon :  and  so  dwelling  in  the  faithful  trust  of 
God's  help,  he  shall  well  use  his  prosperity,  and  perse 
vere  in  his  good  profitable  business,  and  shall  have 
therein  the  truth  of  God  so  compass  him  about  with  a 
pavice  of  his  heavenly  defence,  that  of  the  devil's  arrow 
flying  in  the  day  of  worldly  wealth,  he  shall  not  need  to 

VINCENT. — Forsooth,  uncle,  I  like  this  good  counsel 
well,  and  I  would  ween  that  such  as  are  in  prosperity  and 

*  Matth.  x. 

170  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 

take  such  order  therein,  may  do  both  to  themself,  and 
other  folk  about,  much  good. 

ANTONY. — I  beseech  our  Lord,  cousin,  put  this  and 
better  in  the  mind  of  every  man  that  needeth  it.  And 
now  will  I  touch  one  word  or  twain  of  the  third  tempta 
tion,  whereof  the  prophet  speaketh  in  these  words :  A 
negotio  perambulante  in  tenebris, —  From  the  business 
walking  in  the  darknesses  :  and  then  will  we  call  for  our 
dinner,  leaving  the  last  temptation  (that  is  to  wit,  Ab 
incursu  et  d&monio  meridiano, — From  the  incursion,  and 
the  devil  of  the  mid-day),  till  afternoon,  and  then  shall  we 
therewith,  God  willing,  make  an  end  of  all  this  matter. 

VINCENT. — Our  Lord  reward  you,  good  uncle,  for  your 
good  labour  with  me.  But  for  our  Lord's  sake  take  good 
heed,  uncle,  that  you  forbear  not  your  dinner  over  long. 

ANTONY. — Fear  not  that,  cousin,  I  warrant  you,  for 
this  piece  will  I  make  you  but  short. 



Of  the  devil  named  Negotium,  that  is   to  wit,   Business 
walking  about  in  the  darknesses. 

>HE  prophet  saith  in  the  said  psalm,  Qui 
'  habitat  inadjutorio  Altissimi,  in  protectione 
Dei  commorabitur.  Scuto  circumda- 
bit  te  veritas  ejus,  non  timebis,  $fc.  A  ne- 
gotio  perambulante  in  tenebris, — He  that 
dvvelleth  in  the  faithful  hope  of  God's  help, 
he  shall  abide  in  the  protection  or  safeguard  of  the  God 
of  heaven  ;  and  thou  that  art  such  one,"shall  the  truth  of 
him  so  compass  about  with  a  pavice,  that  thou  shalt  not 
be  afraid  of  the  business  walking  about  in  the  darknesses. 
Ncgotium  is  here,  cousin,  the  name  of  a  devil  that  is  ever 
full  of  business,  in  tempting  folk  to  much  evil  business. 
His  time  of  tempting  is  in  the  darknesses.  For  you  wot 
well,  that  beside  the  very  full  night,  which  is  Ctoo  6arft= 
the  deep  dark,  there  are  two  times  of  dark-  nesses, 
nesses.  The  one,  ere  the  morning  wax  light ;  the  other, 
when  the  evening  waxeth  dark.  Two  times  of  like  man 
ner  darkness  are  there  also  in  the  soul  of  man :  the  one, 
ere  the  light  of  grace  be  well  in  the  heart  sprung-en  up; 
the  other,  whenlhe  light  of  grace  out  of  the  soul  begin- 
neth  to  walk  fast  away. 

In  these  two  darknesses  this  devil,  that  is  Oje irebil  caiteu 
called  Business,  walketh  about,  and  such  fond  Business. 
folk  as  will  follow  him  he  carrieth  about  with  him,  and 
setteth  them  a  work  with  many  manner  bumbling  busi 
ness.  He  setteth,  I  say,  some  to  seek  the  pleasures  of 
the  flesh  in  eating,  drinking,  and  other  filthy  delight,  and 
some  he  setteth  about  the  incessant  seeking  for  these 


worldly  goods  :  and  if  such  busy  folk,  whom  this  devil, 
called  Business  (walking  about  in  the  darknesses)  setteth 
a  work  with  such  business,  our  Saviour  saith  in  the  Gospel, 
Qui  ambulat  in  tenebris,  nescit  quo  vadit, —  He  that 
walketh  in  darknesses  witteth  not  whither  he  goeth.* 
And  surely  in  such  case  are  they:  for  they  neither  wot 
which  way  they  go,  nor  whither.  For  verily  they  walk 
tffieinfsmajeof  round  about,  as  it  were  in  a  round  maze ;  when 
tj)e  tool-in.  they  ween  themself  at  an  end  of  their  business, 
they  be  but  at  the  beginning.  For  is  not  the  going 
about  the  serving  of  the  flesh  a  business  that  jiath  no 
end,  but  evermore  from  the  end  cometh  to  the  beginning 
again?  For  go  they  never  so  full  fed  to  bed,  yet  ever 
more  on  the  morrow  as  new  be  they  to  be  fed  again  as 
they  were  the  day  before.  Thus  fareth  it  by  the  belly ; 
thus  fareth  it  by  those  parts  that  are  beneath  the  belly. 
And  as  for  covetise,  it  fareth  like  the  fire,  the  more 'wood 
that  cometh  thereto,  the  more  fervent  and  the  more  greedy 
it  is. 

But  now  hath  this  maze  a  centre  or  middle  place,  into 
which  sometime  they  be  conveyed  suddenly  when  they 
ween  they  were  not  yet  far  from  the  brink.  The  centre 
or  middle  place  of  this  maze  is  hell,  and  into  that  place 
be  there  busy  folk  that  with  this  devil  of 
tt*;et$«t|jftf  Business  walk  about  this  busy  maze  in  the 
sudjacentre.  darknesses,  suddenly  sometime  conveyed,  no 
thing  ware  whither  they  be  going,  and  even  while  they 
ween  that  they  were  not  far  walked  from  the  beginning, 
and  that  they  had  yet  a  great  way  to  walk  about  before 
they  should  come  to  the  end.  But  of  these  fleshly  folk 
walking  in  this  pleasant  busy  maze,  the  Scripture  de- 
clareth  the  end  :  — Ducunt  in  bonis  dies  suos,  et  in  puncto 
ad  inferna  descendunt,  —  They  lead  their  life  in  plea 
sure,  and  at  a  pop  down  they  descend  into  hell.f  Of 
the  covetous  man  saith  St.  Paul :  Qui  volunt  divites  fieri, 
incidunt  in  temptationem  et  in  laqueum  diaboli,  et  desi- 
deria  multa  inutilia  et  nociva,  quce  mergunt  homines  in 
interitum  et  perditionem, — They  that  long  to  be  rich  do 
fall  into  temptation  and  into  the  grin  of  the  devil,  and 
*  Johan.  xii.  f  Job  xxi. 


into  many  desires  unprofitable  and  harmful,  which  drown 
men  unto  death  and  into  destruction.*  So,  here  is  the 
middle  place  of  this  busy  maze,  the  grin  of  the  devil,  the 
place  of  perdition  and  destruction  that  they  fall  and  be 
caught  and  drowned  in  ere  they  be  ware.  The  covetous 
rich  man  also  that  our  Saviour  speak eth  of  in  the  Gospel, 
that  had  so  great  plenty  of  corn  that  his  barns  would  not 
receive  it,  but  intended  to  make  his  barns  larger,  and  said 
to  himself  that  he  would  make  merry  many  days,  had 
weened  (you  wot  well)  that  he  had  yet  a  great  way  yet  to 
walk.  But  God  said  unto  him,  Stulte,  hac  nocte  tollcnt 
a  te  animam  iuam  :  qua?  autem  parasti,  cujus  erunt  ? — Fool, 
this  night  shall  they  take  thy  soul  from  thee,  and  then  all 
this  good  that  thou  hast  gathered,  where  shall  itbe?t 
Here  you  see  that  he  fell  suddenly  into  the  deep  centre  of 
this  busy  maze,  so  that  he  was  fallen  full  and  whole 
therein  long  ere  ever  he  had  weened  he  should  have 
come  near  thereto. 

Now  this  wot  I  very  well,  that  those  that  are  walking 
about  in  this  busy  maze  take  not  their  business  for  any 
tribulation,  and  yet  are  many  of  them  forwearied  as  sore, 
and  us  sore  panged  and  pained  therein,  their  pleasures 
being  so  short,  so  little,  and  so  few,  and  their  displea 
sures  and  their  griefs  so  great,  so  continual,  and  so  many, 
that  it  maketh  me  think  upon  a  good  worshipful  man, 
which,  when  he  divers  times  beheld  his  wife,  what  pain 
she  took  in  straight  binding  up  her  hair  to  make  her  a  fair 
large  forehead,  and  with  straight  bracing  in  her  body  to 
make  her  middle  small,  both  twain  to  her  great  pain  for 
the  pride  of  a  little  foolish  praise  :  he  said  unto  her,  "  For 
sooth,  madam,  if  God  give  you  not  hell,  he  BototMnssurf| 
shall  do  you  great  wrong,  ror  it  must  needs  iaotes  te  tiure 
be  your  own  of  very  right :  for  you  buy  it  very  n 
dear,  and  take  very  great  pain  therefor." 

They  that  now  lie  in  hell  for  their  wretched  living 
here,  do  now  perceive  their  folly  in  their  more  pain 
that  they  took  here  for  the  less  pleasure.  There  con 
fess  they  now  their  folly,  and  cry  out,  Lassati  sumus 
in  via  iniquitatis, — We  have  been  wearied  in  the  way 

*  1  Tim.  vi.  f  Luc.  xii. 


of  wickedness.*  And  yet  while  they  were  walking  therein, 
they  would  not  rest  themself,  but  run  on  still  in  their 
weariness,  and  put  themself  still  unto  more  pain  and 
more,  for  that  little  peevish  pleasure,  short  and  soon  gone, 
that  they  took  all  that  labour  and  pain  for,  beside  the 
everlasting  pain  that  followed  it  for  their  farther  advan 
tage  after. 

a  notable sap«  So  ne^P  me  God,  and  none  otherwise  but  as 
tng  ant  a  true.  I  verily  think,  that  many  a  man  buyeth  hell 
here  with  so  much  pain,  that  he  might  have  heaven  with 
less  than  the  one-half.  But  yet,  as  I  say,  while  these 
fleshly  and  worldly  busy  folk  are  walking  about  in  this 
round  busy  maze  of  the  devil  that  is  called  Business  that 
walketh  about  in  these  two  times  of  darkness,  their  wits 
are  so  by  the  secret  enchantment  of  the  devil  bewitched, 
that  they  mark  not  the  great  long  miserable  weariness 
and  pain  that  the  devil  maketh  them  take  and 
llso<  endure  about  nought,  and  therefore  they  take 
it  for  no  tribulation  :  so  that  they  need  no  comfort.  And 
therefore  it  is  not  for  their  sakes  that  I  speak  all  this, 
saving  that  it  may  serve  them  for  counsel  toward  the 
perceiving  of  their  own  foolish  misery,  through  the  good 
help  of  God's  grace  beginning  to  shine  upon  them  again. 

But  there  are  very  good  folk  and  virtuous  that  are  in 
the  daylight  of  grace,  and  yet  because  the  devil  temptetli 
them  busily  to  such  fleshly  delight,  and  sith  they  see 
plenty  of  worldly  substance  fall  unto  them,  and  feel  the 
devil  in  likewise  busily  tempt  them  to  set  their  heart  there 
upon,  they  be  so  troubled  therewith,  and  begin  to  fear 
thereby,  that  they  be  not  with  God  in  the  light,  but  with 
this  devil  that  the  prophet  calleth  Negotium,  that  is  to 
say,  Business,  walking  about  in  the  two  times  of  daft 
ness.  Howbeit,  as  I  said  before  of  those  good  folk  and 
gracious  that  are  in  the  worldly  wealth  of  great  power 
arid  authority,  and  thereby  feel  the  devil's  arrow  of  pride: 
so  say  I  now  here  again  of  these  that  stand  in  dread  of 
fleshly  foul  sin  and  covetise,  sith  they  be  but  tempted 
therewith  and  follow  it  not,  albeit  that  they  do  well  to 
stand  ever  in  moderate  fear,  lest  with  waxing  over  bold, 

*  Sap.v. 


and  setting  the  thing  over  light,  they  might  peradventure 
mishap  to  fall  in  thereto :  yet  sore  to  vex  and  trouble 
themself  with  the  fear  of  loss  of  God's  favour  therefor,  is 
without  necessity,  and  not  alway  without  peril.  For,  as 
>  I  said  before,  it  withdraweth  the  mind  of  a  man  far  from 
spiritual  consolation  of  the  good  hope  that  he  should 
have  in  God's  help.  And  as  for  these  temptations,  while 
he  that  is  tempted  follovveth  them  not,  the  fight  against 
them  serveth  a  man  for  matter  of  merit  and  reward  in 
heaven,  if  he  not  only  flee  the  deed,  the  consent  and  the 
declaration,  but  also  (in  that  he  conveniently  may)  flee 
from  all  the  occasions  thereof.  And  this  point  is  in  those 
fleshly  temptations  a  thing  eth  to  perceive,  and  orarnai  tcmpta- 
rneetly  plain  enough.  But  in  these  worldly  se°cnStaSco"cr 
businesses  pertaining  unto  covetise,  thereon  is  ttse,  enoj?,  &c. 
the  thing  somewhat  more  dark,  and  in  the  perceiving 
more  difficulty,  and  very  great  troublous  fear  doth  there 
oftentimes  arise  thereof  in  the  hearts  of  very  good  folk 
when  the  world  falleth  fast  unto  them,  because  of  the  sore 
words  and  terrible  threats,  that  God  in  Holy  Scripture 
speaketh  against  those  that  are  rich  :  as  where  St.  Paul 
saith  :  Qui  volunt  divites  fieri,  incidunt  in  teutationem,  et 
in  laqueum  diaboli, — They  that  will  be  rich  tail  into  temp 
tation,  and  into  the  grin  of  the  devil.*  And  where  our 
Saviour  saith  himself :  Fucilius  est  cumelum  per  foramen 
acus  transirc,  quam  diviteni  intrure  in  regnum  Dei, — It  is 
more  easy  tor  a  camel,  or,  as  some  say  (for  so  camelus 
signifieth  in  the  Greek  tongue),  for  a  great  cable-rope,  to 
go  through  a  needle's  eye,  than  for  a  rich  man  to  enter 
into  the  kingdom  of  God  :  •(•  no  marvel  now  though  good 
folk  that  fear  God  take  occasion  of  great  dread  at  so 
dreadful  words,  when  they  see  worldly  goods  fall  unto 
them,  and  some  stand  in  doubt  whether  it  be  lawful  for 
them  to  keep  any  goods  or  no.  But  evermore  in  all 
these  places  of  Scriptures,  the  having  of  the  worldly 
goods  is  not  the  thing  that  is  rebuked  and  threatened, 
but  the  affection  the  haver  unlawfully  beareth  thereto. 
For  where  St.  Paul  saith,  Qui  volunt  divites  fieri,  &c. — 
They  that  will  be  made  rich,  &c.,  he  speaketh  not  of  the 

*  1  Tim.  vi.  f  Luc.  xviii. 

176  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 

having,  but  of  the  will  and  desire  and  affection  to  have, 

ESUjat  tfjfng  fs  anc*  tne  l°ngmg  f°r  & '  f°r  tnat  cannot  be 
aamnatu  in  lightly  without  sin.  For  the  thing  that  folk 
so  sore  long  for,  they  will  make  many  shifts  to 
get,  and  jeopard  themself  therefor.  And  to  declare  that* 
the  having  of  riches  is  not  forbidden,  but  the  inordinate 
affection  of  the  mind  sore  set  thereupon,  the  prophet  saith  : 
Divitice  si  affluant,  nolite  cor  apponere, — If  riches  flow  unto 
you,  set  not  your  hearts  thereupon.*  And  albeit  that  our 
Lord,  by  the  said  ensample  of  the  camel,  or  the  cable- 
rope,  to  come  through  the  needle's  eye,  said  that  it  is  not 
only  hard,  but  also  impossible,  for  a  rich  man  to  enter 
into  the  kingdom  of  heaven  :  yet  he  declared,  that  though 
the  rich  man  cannot  get  into  heaven  of  himself,  yet  God, 
he  said,  can  get  him  in  well  enough.  For  unto  man,  he 
said,  it  was  impossible,  but  not  unto  God ;  for  unto  God, 
he  said,  all  things  are  possible.  And  yet  over  that,  he  told 
of  which  manner  rich  men  he  meant  that  could  not  get  into 
the  kingdom  of  heaven,  saying:  Filioli,  quam  difficile  est 
conjidentes  in  pecuniis  in  regnum  Dei  introire !  —  My 
babes,  how  hard  is  it  for  them  that  put  their  trust  and 
confidence  in  their  money,  to  enter  into  the  kingdom  of 
God  !  t 

VINCENT. — This  is,  I  suppose,  uncle,  very  true,  and 
else  God  forbid  !  For  else  were  the  world  in  a  full  hard 
case,  if  every  rich  man  were  in  such  danger  and  peril. 

ANTONY. — That  were  it,  cousin,  indeed  ;  and  so,  I 
ween,  is  it  yet.  For  I  fear  me  that  to  the  multitude, 

CTis  is  too  true  there  ^e  ver.Y  ^ew>  Du^  tnat  tney  l°ng  sore  to 
tioto-a-naps.  be  rich :  and  of  those  that  long  so  to  be,  very 
few  reserved  also,  but  that  they  set  their  hearts  very  sore 

VINCENT. — That  is,  uncle,  I  fear  me,  very  true,  but  yet 
not  the  thing  that  I  was  about  to  speak  of,  but  the  thing 
that  I  would  have  said  was  this  :  that  I  cannot  well  per 
ceive  (the  world  being  such  as  it  is,  and  so  many  poor 
people  therein)  how  any  man  may  be  rich,  and  keep  him 
rich  without  any  danger  of  damnation  therefor.  For  all 
the  while  that  he  seeth  poor  people  so  many  that  lack, 
*  Psal.  Ixi.  t  Marc.  x. 


while  himself  hath  to  give  them,  and  whose  necessity 
(while  he  hath  wherewith)  he  is  bound  in  such  case  of 
duty  to  relieve,  so  far  forth  that  holy  St.  Ambrose  saith, 
that  whoso  that  die  for  default  where  we  might  help 
them,  we  kill  them  ourself  :*  I  cannot  see  but  that  every 
rich  man  hath  great  cause  to  stand  in  great  fear  of 
damnation,  nor  1  cannot  perceive,  as  I  say,  how  he  can 
be  delivered  of  that  fear,  as  long  as  he  keepeth  his  riches. 
And  therefore  though  he  might  keep  his  riches,  if  there 
lacked  poor  men,  and  yet  stand  in  God's  favour  therewith, 
as  Abraham  did,  and  many  another  holy  rich  man  since; 
yet  in  such  abundance  of  poor  men  as  there  be  now  in 
every  country,  any  man  that  keepeth  any  riches,  it  must 
needs  be  that  he  hath  an  inordinate  affection  thereunto, 
while  he  giveth  it  not  out  unto  the  poor  needy  persons,  that 
the  duty  of  charity  bindeth  and  straineth  him  to.  And 
thus,  uncle,  in  this  world  at  this  day,  meseemeth  your 
comfort  unto  good  men  that  are  rich  and  troubled  with 
fear  of  damnation  for  the  keeping,  can  very  scantly  serve. 

ANTONY. — Hard  it  is,  cousin,  in  many  manner  things, 
to  bid  or  forbid,  affirm  or  deny,  reprove  or  allow,  a  matter 
nakedly  proposed  and  set  forth,  or  precisely  to  say,  this 
tiling  is  good,  or  this  thing  is  nought,  without  considera 
tion  of  the  circumstances.  Holy  St.  Austin  telleth  of  a 
physician  that  gave  a  man  a  medicine  in  a  certain  disease 
that  holp  him.f  The  selfsame  man,  at  another  time  in 
selfsame  disease,  took  the  selfsame  medicine  himself,  and 
had  thereof  more  harm  than  good;  which  thing  when  he 
shewed  unto  the  physician,  and  asked  him  whereof  that 
harm  should  hap  ;  ""that  medicine,"  quoth  he,  "  did  thee 
no  good  but  harm,  because  thou  tookest  it  when  I  gave 
it  thee  not."  This  answer  St.  Austin  very  well  alloweth, 
for  that  though  the  medicine  were  one,  yet  might  there 
be  peradventure  in  the  sickness  some  such  difference  as 
the  patient  perceived  not,  yea  or  in  the  man  himself,  or 
in  the  place,  or  in  the  time  of  the  year.  Many  things 
might  make  the  lot,  for  which  the  physician  would  not 
then  have  given  him  the  selfsame  medicine  that  he  gave 
him  before.  To  peruse  every  circumstance  that  might, 

*  In  Luc.  lib.  viii.  cap.  18.  f  Ad  Marcellinum,  Epistola  v. 



cousin,  in  this  matter  be  touched,  and  were  to  be  con 
sidered  and  weighed,  would  indeed  make  this  part  of  this 
devil  of  Business  a  very  busy  piece  of  work  and  a  long. 
But  I  shall  a  little  open  the  point  that  you  speak  of,  and 
shall  shew  you  what  I  think  therein,  with  as  few  words 
as  I  conveniently  can,  and  then  will  we  go  to  dinner. 

First,  cousin,  he  that  is  a  rich  man,  and  keepeth  all 
his  good,  he  hath,  I  think,  very  good  cause  to  be  very 
fraid  indeed.  And  yet  I  fear  me,  that  such  folk  fear  it 

least;  for  they  be  very  far  from  the  state  of 
STfie  state  of  •  i  -r  i  i  -n  n  i 

tjjftn  tijat  t«p  good  men  sith  it  they  keep  still  all,  then  are 

they  very  far  from  charity,  and  do  (you  wot 
well)  alms,  either  little  or  none  at  all.  But  now  is  our 
question,  cousin,  not  in  what  case  the  rich  man  standeth 
that  keepeth  all,  but  whether  we  should  suffer  men  to 
stand  in  a  perilous  dread  and  fear  for  the  keeping  of  any 
great  part.  For  if  that  by  the  keeping  still  of  so  much 
as  maketh  a  rich  man  still,  they  stand  in  the  state  of 
damnation ;  then  are  the  curates  bounden  plainly  to  tell 
them  so,  according  to  the  commandment  of  God  given 
unto  them  all  in  the  person  of  Ezekiel :  *  Si  dicente  me  ad 
impium,  morte  morieris,  non  annunciaveris  ei,  fyc. — If 
when  I  say  to  the  wicked  man,  thou  shalt  die,  thou  do 
not  shew  it  to  him,  nor  speak  i£  unto  him,  that  he  may  be 
turned  from  his  wicked  way  and  may  live,  he  shall  soothly 
die  in  his  wickedness,  and  his  blood  shall  I  verily  require 
of  thy  hand. 

But,  cousin,  though  God  invited  men  unto  the  follow- 
ober*  ing  of  himself  in  wilful  poverty,  by  the  leaving 
™*  of  all  together  at  once  for  his  sake,  as  the 
tmng  whereby  with  being  out  of  the  solicitude 
of  worldly  business,  and  far  from  the  desire  of 
earthly  commodities,  they  may  the  more  speedily  get 
and  attain  the  state  of  spiritual  affection,  and  the  hungry 
desire  and  longing  for  celestial  things ;  yet  doth  he  not 
command  every  man  so  to  do  upon  the  peril  of  damna 
tion.  For  where  he  saith,f  Quinon  renunciaverit  omnibus 
quce  possidet  nonpotest  esse  meus  discipulus, — He  that  for- 
saketh  not  all  that  ever  he  hath,  cannot  be  my  disciple, 

*  Ezek.  xxxiii.  f  Luc.  xiv. 


he  declareth  well  by  other  words  of  his  own  in  the  self 
same  place  a  little  before,  what  he  meaneth.  For  there 
saith  he  more,  Si  quis  venit  ad  me,  et  non  odit  patrem 
suum,  et  matrem,  et  uxorem,  etfilios,  et  fratres,  et  sorores, 
adhuc  autem  et  animam  suam,  non  potest  esse  mem  disci- 
pulus, — He  that  cometh  to  me,  and  hateth  not  his  father, 
and  his  mother,  and  his  wife,  and  his  children,  and  his 
brethren,  and  his  sisters,  yea  and  his  own  life  too,  cannot 
be  my  disciple.*  Here  meaneth  our  Saviour  <jtj,rist.g  tm 
Christ,  that  none  can  be  his  disciple,  but  if  he  fisctpie. 
love  him  so  far  above  all  his  kin,  and  above  his  own  life 
too,  that  for  the  love  of  him,  rather  than  to  forsake  him, 
he  shall  forsake  them  all.  And  so  meaneth  he  by  those 
other  words,  that  whosoever  do  not  so  renounce  and  for 
sake  all  that  ever  he  hath  in  his  own  heart  and  affection, 
that  he  will  rather  lose  it  all,  and  let  it  go  every  whit, 
than  deadly  displease  God  with  the  reserving  of  any  one 
part  thereof,  he  cannot  be  Christ's  disciple;  sith  Christ 
teacheth  us  to  love  God  above  all  thing.  And  g^^  tt  is  to 
he  loveth  not  God  above  all  thing,  that  con-  lode  £00  atooe 
trary  to  God's  pleasure  keepeth  any  thing  that 
he  hath.  For  that  thing  he  sheweth  himself  to  set  more 
by  than  by  God,  while  he  is  better  content  to  lose  God 
than  it.  But,  as  I  said,  to  give  away  all,  or  that  no  man 
should  be  rich  or  have  any  substance,  that  find  I  no  com 
mandment  of. 

There  are,  as  our  Saviour  saith,  in  the  house  of  his 
Father  many  mansions,-f-  and  happy  shall  he  be  that  shall 
have  the  grace  to  dwell  even  in  the  lowest.  It  seemeth 
verily  by  the  Gospel,  that  those,  which  for  God's  sake 
patiently  suffer  penury,  shall  not  only  dwell  above  those 
in  heaven,  that  live  here  in  plenty  in  earth,  but  also  that 
heaven  in  some  manner  of  wise  more  properly  belongeth 
unto  them,  and  is  more  specially  prepared  for  ^eaben 
them,  than  it  is  for  the  rich,  by  that,  that  God  ?arc&  specially 
in  the  Gospel  counselleth  the  rich  folk  to  buy  in  for  tfie  poor' 
a  manner  heaven  of  them,  where  he  saith  unto  the  rich 
man,  Facite  vobis  amicos  de  Mammona  iniquitatis,  ut  cum 
defeceritis,  recipiant  vos  in  ceterna  tabernacula, — Make  you 
*  Luc.  xiv.  f  Johan.  xiv. 

N    2 


friends  of  the  wicked  riches,  that  when  you  fail  here  they 
may  receive  you  into  everlasting  tabernacles.*  But  now 
although  this  be  thus,  in  respect  of  the  riches  and  the 
poverty  compared  together,  yet  they  being  good  men  both, 
there  may  be  some  other  virtue  beside,  wherein  the  rich 
man  may  so  peradventure  excel,  that  he  may  be  in  heaven 
far  above  the  poor  man  that  was  here  in  earth  in  other 
virtues  far  under  him,  as  the  proof  appeareth  clearly  in 
Lazarus  and  Abraham.*f- 

Nor  I  say  not  this,  to  the  intent  to  comfort  rich  men  in 
heaping  up  of  riches,  for  a  little  comfort  is  sent  enough 
thereto  for  them.  They  be  not  so  proud-hearted  and 
obstinate,  but  that  they  would,  I  ween,  to  that  counsel  be 
with  right  little  exhortation  very  conformable.  But  I 
ffanrtort  for  say  this,  for  that  those  good  men,  to  whom 
BOOB  ricfi  men.  QO(J  gjveth  substance  and  the  mind  to  dispose 
it  well,  and  yet  not  the  mind  to  give  it  all  away  at  once, 
but  for  good  causes  to  keep  some  substance  still,  should 
not  despair  of  God's  favours  for  the  not  doing  of  the 
thing  which  God  hath  given  them  no  commandment  of, 
nor  drawn  by  any  special  calling  thereunto. 

Zaccheus,  lo,  that  climbed  up  into  the  tree 
for  desire  that  he  had  to  behold  our  Saviour, 
at  such  time  as  Christ  called  aloud  unto  him,  and  said, 
"  Zaccheus,  make  haste  and  come  down,  for  this  day 
must  I  dwell  in  thy  house,"  J  he  was  so  glad  thereof,  and 
so  touched  inwardly  with  special  grace  to  the  profit  of  his 
soul,  that  whereas  all  the  people  murmured  much  that 
Christ  would  call  him  and  be  so  familiar  with  him,  as  of 
his  own  offer  to  come  unto  his  house,  considering  that 
¥ ufiucans  ^ie^  knew  n^m  ^or  ^ne  c^ie^  of  the  publicans, 
that  were  customers  or  toll- gatherers  of  the 
emperor's  duties,  all  which  whole  company  were  among 
the  people  sore  infamed  of  raven,  extortion,  and  bribery, 
and  then  Zaccheus,  not  only  the  chief  of  that  fellowship, 
but  also  grown  greatly  rich,  whereby  the  people  accounted 
him  in  their  own  opinion,  for  a  man  very  sinful  and 
nought;  he  forthwith  by  the  instinct  of  the  Spirit  of  God, 
in  reproach  of  all  such  temerarious  bold  and  blind  judg- 
*  Luc.  xvi.  f  Ibidem.  %  Luc.  xix. 


ment  given  upon  a  man,  whose  inward  mind  and  sudden 
change  they  cannot  see,  shortly  proved  them  all  deceived, 
and  that  our  Lord  had  at  those  few  words  outwardly 
spoken  to  him,  so  touched  him,  that  his  grace  so  wrought 
in  his  heart  within  that  whatsoever  he  was  before,  he  was 
then  unwares  unto  them  all,  suddenly  waxen  good.  For  he 
made  haste  and  came  down,  and  gladly  received  Christ, 
and  said  :  "  Lo,  Lord,  the  one  half  of  my  goods  here  I 
give  unto  poor  people,  and  yet  over  that,  if  I  have  in  any 
thing  deceived  any  man,  here  am  I  ready  to  recompense 
him  fourfold  as  much." 

VINCENT.  —  This  was,  uncle,  a  gracious  hearing  :  but 
yet  I  marvel  me  somewhat,  wherefore  Zaccheus  used  his 
words  in  that  manner  of  order.  For  methinketh,  he 
should  first  have  spoken  of  making  restitution  unto  those 
whom  he  had  beguiled,  and  then  speak  of  giving  his 
alms  after.  For  restitution  is,  you  wot  well,  institution  is 
duty  ;  and  a  thing  of  such  necessity,  that  of  Butff- 
in  respect  of  restitution,  alms-deed  is  but  voluntary. 
Therefore  it  might  seem,  that  to  put  men  in  mind  of 
their  duty  in  making  restitution  first,  and  doing  their 
alms  after,  Zaccheus  should  have  said  more  conveniently, 
if  he  had  said  first,  that  he  would  make  every  man  resti 
tution  whom  he  had  wronged,  and  then  give  naif  in  alms 
of  that  that  remained  after  :  for  only  that  might  he  call 
clearly  his  own. 

ANTONY.  —  This  is  true,  cousin,  where  a  man  hath  not 
enough  to  suffice  for  both.  But  he  that  hath,  is  not 
bound  to  leave  his  alms  ungiven  to  the  poor  man  that  is 
at  his  hand,  and  peradventure  calleth  upon  him,  till  he  go 
seek  up  all  his  creditors,  and  all  those  that  he  hath 
wronged,  so  far  peradventure  asunder,  that  leaving  the  one 
good  deed  undone  the  while,  he  may  before  they  come 
together,  change  that  good  mind  again,  and  do  neither 

the  one  nor  the  other.     It  is  good  alway,  there- 

/.  •  £e  Ebcr  Botng 

/.  i        j    •  p  i         i        e  Ebcr  Botng 

fore,    to   be   doing  some    good    out   or  hand,  some  QOO&  out 

while  we  think  thereon  :  grace  shall  the  better  o£  *aBt1' 
stand  with  us,   and  increase  also  to  go  the  farther  in  the 
other  after.     And  this   I  answer,  if  the  man   had  there 
done  the  one  out  of  hand,  the  giving  (I  mean)  half  in  alms, 

182  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 

and  not  so  much  as  speak  of  restitution,  till  after  ; 
whereas  now,  though  he  spake  the  one  in  order  before 
the  other,  and  yet  all  at  one  time,  the  thing  remained  still 
in  his  liberty,  to  put  them  both  in  execution  after  such 
order  as  he  should  then  think  expedient. 

But  now,  cousin,  did  the  Spirit  of  God  temper  the 
tongue  of  Zaccheus  in  the  utterance  of  these  words,  in 
such  wise,  as  it  may  well  appear  the  saying  of  the  wise 
man  to  be  verified  in  them,  where  he  saith,  Domini  est 
gubernare  linguam, — To  God  it  belongeth  to  govern  the 
tongue.*  For  here  when  he  said  he  would  give  half  of 
his  whole  good  unto  poor  people,  and  yet  beside  that,  not 
only  recompense  any  man  whom  he  had  wronged,  but  more 
than  recompense  him  by  three  times  as  much  again;  he 
double  reproved  the  false  suspicion  of  the  people  that 
accounted  him  for  so  evil,  that  they  reckoned  in  their 
mind  all  his  good  gotten  in  effect  with  wrong,  because  he 
rae  people's  was  Srown  t°  substance  in  that  office  which 
suspicions  some*  was  commonly  misused  extorciously.  But  his 
time  false.  j  i  i  1.1,1  -c  i_  •  i  • 

words  declared,  that  he  was  rite  enough  in  his 

reckoning,  that  if  half  his  goods  were  given  away,  yet 
were  he  well  able  to  yield  every  man  his  duty  with  the 
other  half,  and  yet  leave  himself  no  beggar  neither :  for  he 
said  not,  he  would  give  all  away. 

aaaottm  ©o&  Would  God,  cousin,  that  every  rich  Chris- 
tfies  toouiu  tn=  tian  man  that  is  reputed  ri^ht  worshipful,  yea 
and  (which  yet  in  my  mind  more  is)  reckoned 
for  right  honest  too,  would  and  were  able,  to  do  the  thing 
that  little  Zaccheus  the  same  great  publican  (were  he 
Jew,  or  were  he  Paynim)  said !  that  is  to  wit,  with  less 
than  half  his  goods  recompense  every  man  whom  he  has 
wronged  four  times  as  much ;  yea,  yea,  cousin,  as  much 
for  as  much,  hardly,  and  then  they  that  receive  it  shall  be 
content  (I  dare  promise  for  them)  to  let  the  other  thrice 
as  much  go,  and  forgive  it,  because  it  was  one  of  the  hard 
points  of  the  old  law,  whereas  Christian  men  must  be  full 
of  forgiving,  and  not  use  to  require  and  exact  their 
amends  to  the  uttermost. 

But  now  for  our  purpose  here,  notwithstanding  that  he 
*  Prover.  xvi. 


promised  not,  neither  to  give  away  all,  nor  to  become  a 
beggar  neither,  no  nor  yet  to  leave  of  his  office  neither : 
which  albeit  that  he  had  not  used  before  peradventure  in 
every  point  so  pure,  as  St.  John  Baptist  had  taught  them 
the  lesson,  Nihil  amplius,  quam  constitutum  est  vobis, 
faciatis, — Do  no  more  than  is  appointed  unto  you  ;*  yet 
forasmuch  as  he  might  both  lawfully  use  his  substance  that 
he  minded  to  reserve,  and  lawfully  might  use  his  office  too, 
in  receiving  the  prince's  duty  according  to  Christ's  express 
commandment,  Reddite  quce  sunt  Ccesaris,  Ccesari, — 
Give  the  emperor  those  things  that  are  his,f — refusing  all 
extortion  and  bribery  beside,  our  Lord  well  allowing  his 
good  purpose,  and  exacting  no  farther  forth  of  him  con 
cerning  his  worldly  behaviour,  answered  and  said,  Hodie 
salus  facta  est  huic  domui,  eo  quod  et  ipse  filius  sit 
Abrahcp, — This  day  is  health  come  to  this  house,  for  that 
he  too  is  the  son  of  Abraham.]; 

But  now  forget  I  not,  cousin,  that  in  effect  thus  far  you 
condescend  unto  me,  that  a  man  may  be  rich,  and  yet  not 
out  of  the  state  of  grace,  nor  out  of  God's  favour.  How- 
beit  you  think,  that  though  it  may  be  so  at  some  time,  or 
in  some  place,  yet  at  this  time,  and  in  this  place,  or  any 
such  other  like,  wherein  be  so  many  poor  people,  upon 
whom  they  be  (you  think)  bounden  to  bestow  their  good, 
they  can  therefore  keep  no  riches  with  good  conscience. 
Verily,  cousin,  if  that  reason  would  hold,  I  ween  the  world 
was  never  such  anywhere  in  which  any  man  might  have 
kept  any  substance  without  the  danger  of  damnation.  As 
for  since  Christ's  days  to  the  world's  end,  we  have  the 
witness  of  his  own  words,  that  there  hath  never  $„„  folfe  sj)au 
lacked  poor  men,  nor  never  shall.  For  he  said  tjmnetoriacfc. 
himself,  Pauper es  semper  habebitis  vobiscum,  quibus  cum 
vultis,  benefacere  potestis, — Poor  men  shall  you  alway 
have  with  you,  whom,  when  you  will,  you  may  do  good 
unto.^  So  that,  as  1  tell  you,  if  your  rule  should  hold, 
then  were  there,  1  ween,  no  place  in  no  time  since  Christ's 
days  hitherto,  nor  (as  I  think)  in  as  long  before  that 
neither,  nor  never  shall  there  hereafter,  in  which  there 

*  Luc.  iii.  tMarc.  x    n.  J  Luc.  xix. 

§  Matth.  xxvi. ;  Marc.  xiv. 

184  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 

could  any  man  abide  rich  without  the  danger  of  eternal 
damnation,  even  for  his  riches  alone,  though  he  demeaned 
fffieremnst  ^  never  so  well.  But,  cousin,  men  of  sub- 
SmcnSOme  stance  must  tnere  needs  be  ;  for  else  shall  you 
have  more  beggars,  pardie,  than  there  be,  and 
no  man  left  able  to  relieve  another.  For  this  think  I  in 
my  mind  a  very  sure  conclusion,  that  if  all  the  money 
that  is  in  this  country,  were  to-morrow  next  brought  toge 
ther  out  of  every  man's  hand,  and  laid  all  upon  one  heap, 
and  then  divided  out  unto  every  man  alike,  it  would  be 
on  the  morrow  after  worse  than  it  was  the  day  before. 
For  I  suppose  when  it  were  all  equally  thus  divided  among 
all,  the  best  should  be  left  little  better  than  a  beggar 
almost  is  now  :  and  yet  he  that  was  a  beggar  before,  all 
that  he  shall  be  the  richer  for  that  he  should  thereby 
receive,  shall  not  make  him  much  above  a  beggar  still, 
but  many  one  of  the  rich  men,  if  their  riches  stood  but  in 
moveable  substance,  shall  be  safe  enough  from  riches 
haply  for  all  their  life  after. 

Men  cannot,  you  wot  well,  live  here  in  this  world,  but 
if  that  some  one  man  provide  a  mean  of  living  for  some 
other  many.  Every  man  cannot  have  a  ship  of  his  own, 
nor  every  man  be  a  merchant  without  a  stock :  and  these 
things,  you  wot  well,  must  needs  be  had ;  nor  every  man 
cannot  have  a  plough  by  himself.  And  who  might  live 
by  the  tailor's  craft,  if  no  man  were  able  to  put  a  gown 
to  make  ?  Who  by  masonry  ?  Or,  who  could  live  a 
carpenter,  if  no  man  were  able  to  build  neither  church, 
nor  house?  Who  should  be  makers  of  any  manner  of 
cloth,  if  there  lacked  men  of  substance  to  set  sundry  sorts 
a  work?  Some  man  that  hath  but  two  ducats  in  his 
house,  were  better  forbear  them  both  and  leave  himself 
not  a  farthing,  but  utterly  lose  all  his  own,  than  that 
some  rich  man,  by  whom  he  is  weekly  set  a  work  should 
of  his  money  lose  the  one  half:  for  then  were  himself  like 

STijetfcfi  man's   to  lack  work.     For  surely  the  rich  man's  sub- 
sutstanre  is  .,  ,,        .     J      P    .<,  , 

tiie  par  man's    stance   is   the  wellspnng  of  the    poor  mans 

living.  And  therefore,  here  would  it  fare  by 
£K  &cn3t  ^ne  Poor  man,  as  it  fared  by  the  woman  in  one 
*88s.  of  jEsop's  fables,  which  had  an  hen  that  laid 


her  every  day  a  golden  egg;  till  on  a  day  she  thought  she 
would  have  a  great  many  eggs  at  once,  and  therefore  she 
killed  her  hen,  and  found  but  one  or  twain  in  her  belly, 
so  that  for  covetise  of  those  few,  she  lost  many. 

But  now,  cousin,  to  come  to  your  doubt,  how  it  may  be 
that  a  man  may  with  conscience  keep  riches  with  him, 
when  he  seeth  so  many  poor  men  upon  whom  he  may 
bestow  it :  verily  that  might  he  not  with  conscience  do,  if 
he  must  bestow  it  upon  as  many  as  he  may.  And  so 
must  of  truth  every  rich  man  do,  if  all  the  poor  folk  that 
he  seeth  be  so  specially  by  God's  commandment  com 
mitted  unto  his  charge  alone,  that  because  our  Saviour 
saith,  Omni  petenti  te,  da, — Give  every  man  that  asketh 
thee,  therefore  should  he  be  bound  to  give  out  still  to 
every  beggar  that  will  ask  him,  as  long  as  any  penny 
lasteth  in  his  purse.  But  verily,  cousin,  that  saying  hath 
(as  other  places  in  Scripture  have)  need  of  interpretation. 
For  as  holy  St.  Austin  saith:  Though  Christ  say,  Give  every 
man  that  asketh  thee,  he  saith  not  yet,  give  them  all  that 
they  will  ask  thee.  But  surely  all  were  one,  if  he  meant  to 
bind  me  by  commandment,  to  give  every  man  without  ex 
ception  somewhat;  for  so  should  I  leave  myself  nothing. 

Our  Saviour  in  that  place  of  St.  Luke,  msfl&not 
speaketh  both  of  the  contempt  that  we  should  £•  imte  miip 
in  heart  have  of  these  worldly  things,  and  also  CTlulunMr- 
of  the  manner  that  men  should  use  toward  their  enemies. 
For  there  he  biddeth  us  love  our  enemies,  give  good  words 
for  evil,  and  not  only  suffer  injuries  patiently,  both  by 
taking  away  our  goods  and  harm  done  unto  our  bodies, 
but  also  be  ready  to  suffer  the  double  and  over  that,  to  do 
them  good  again,  that  do  us  the  harm.  And  among  these 
things,  he  biddeth  us  give  every  man  that  asketh,  mean 
ing,  that  in  the  thing  that  we  may  conveniently  do  a  man 
good,  we  should  not  refuse  it,  what  manner  of  man  soever 
he  be,  though  he  were  our  mortal  enemy,  namely  where 
we  see,  that  but  if  we  help  him  ourself,  the  person  of  the 
man  should  stand  in  peril  of  perishing.  And  therefore 
saith  St.  Paul,  Si  esurierit  inimicus  tuus,  da  illi  cibum, — 
If  thine  enemy  be  an  hungered  give  him  meat.*  But  now, 
*  Rom.  xii. 

186  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 

though  I  be  bound  to  give  every  manner  of  man  in  some 
manner  of  his  necessity,  were  he  my  friend,  or  my  foe, 
Christian  man,  or  heathen;  yet  am  I  not  unto  all  men 
bound  alike,  nor  unto  any  man  in  every  case  alike.  But, 
as  I  began  to  tell  you,  the  differences  of  the  circumstances 
make  great  change  in  the  matter. 

St.  Paul  saith,  Qui  non  providet  suis,  est  infideli 
deterior, — He  that  provideth  not  for  those  that  are  his,  is 
ro  tfiese  must  worse  than  an  infidel.*  Those  are  ours  that  are 
toe  erst  Qfoe.  belonging  to  our  charge,  either  by  nature,  or 
law,  or  any  commandment  of  God.  By  nature,  as  our 
children  ;  by  law,  as  our  servants  in  the  household.  So 
that  albeit  these  two  sorts  be  not  ours  all  alike,  yet  would 
I  think  that  the  least  ours  of  the  twain,  that  is  to  wit,  our 
©utB  to  scr-  servants,  if  they  need  and  lack,  we  be  bounden 
Hants.  to  iook  to  them,  and  provide  for  their  need, 

and  see  so  far  forth  as  we  may,  that  they  lack  not  the 
things  that  should  serve  for  their  necessity,  while  they 
dwell  in  our  service.  Meseemeth  also,  that  if  they  fall 
sick  in  our  service,  so  that  they  cannot  do  the  service  that 
we  retain  them  for;  yet  may  we  not  in  any  wise  turn  them 
?hen  out  of  doors,  and  cast  them  up  comfortless  while 
they  be  not  able  to  labour  and  help  themself ;  for  this 
were  a  thing  against  all  humanity.  And  surely,  if  he 
were  but  a  wayfaring  man  that  I  received  into  my  house 
as  a  guest,  if  he  fall  sick  therein,  and  his  money  gone,  I 
reckon  myself  bounden  to  keep  him  still,  and 
lote<  rather  to  beg  about  for  his  relief  than  cast  him 
out  in  that  case  to  the  peril  of  his  life,  what  loss  soever 
I  should  hap  to  sustain  in  keeping  of  him.  For  when 
God  hath  by  such  chance  sent  him  to  me,  and  there  once 
matched  me  with  him,  I  reckon  myself  surely  charged 
with  him,  till  I  may  without  peril  of  his  life  be  well  and 
conveniently  discharged  of  him. 

By  God's  commandment  are  in  our  charge,  our  parents. 
For  by  nature  we  be  in  theirs,  sith  (as  St.  Paul  saith)  it  is 
not  the  children's  part  to  provide  for  the  parents,  but  the 
Sutp  to  cf)«*  parents'  to  provide  for  the  children  :•[•  provide, 
lWBt  I  mean,  conveniently  due  learning,  or  good  oc- 

*  Tim.  v.  f  2  Cor.  xii. 


cupations   to  get   their  living   by,   with    truth    and   the 
favour  of  God,  but  not  to  make  provision  for     $oitmi 
them  of  such  manner  of  living,  as  to  Godward 
they  should  live  the  worse  for ;  but  rather  if  they  see  by 
their  manner  that  too  much  would  make  them  nought,  the 
father  should  then  give  them  a  great  deal  the  less.     But 
although  that  nature  put  not  the  parents  in  the  charge  of 
the  children  ;    yet  not  only  God  commandeth,  but  the 
order  of  nature  also  compelleth,  that  the  chil-  juatptopa- 
dren  should  both  in  reverent  behaviour  honour  Ients- 
their  father  and  mother,  and  also  in  their  necessity  main 
tain  them.     And   yet  as  much  as  God  and  nature  both 
bindeth  us  to  the  sustenance  of  our  own  father,  his  need 
may  be  so  little,  though  it  be  somewhat,  and  a  frem'd 
man's  so  great,  that  both  God  and  nature  also 
would,   I  should  in  such  unequal  need,  relieve 
that  urgent  necessity  of  a  stranger,  yea  my  foe,  and  God's 
enemy  too,  the  very  Turk  or  Saracen,  before  a  little  need 
(and  'unlikely  to  do  great  barm)  in   my  father,  and   my 
mother  too  :  for  so  ought  they  both  train  themself  to  be 
well  content  I  should.     But  now,  cousin,  out  of  the  case 
of  such   extreme  needs  well  perceived  and  known  unto 
myself,  I  am  not  bounden  to  give  every  beggar  that  will 
ask,  nor  to  believe  every  faitor  that  I  meet  in  J3tscrett0n  <n 
the  street,  that  will  say  himself  that  he  is  very  BWnaaims. 
sick,  nor  to  reckon  all  the  poor  folk  committed  by  God 
only  so  to  my  charge  alone,   that  none  other  man  should 
give  them  nothing  of  his,  till  I  have  first  given  out  all 
mine,  nor  am  not  bounden  neither  to  have  so  evil  opinion 
of  all  other  folk  save  myself,  as  to  think,  that  but  if  I 
give  help  the  poor  folk  shall   all  fail  at  once;  for  God 
hath  left  in  all  this  quarter  no  more  good  folk  now,  but 
me.     I   may  think  better  by  my  neighbours,   and  worse 
by  myself  than  so,  and  yet  come  to  heaven   by  God's 
grace  well  enough. 

VINCENT. — Marry,  uncle,  but  some  man  will  peradven- 
ture  be  right  well  content  in  such  cases,  to  think  his 
neighbours  very  charitable,  to  the  intent  that  he  may 
think  himself  at  liberty  to  give  nothing  at  all. 

ANTONY. — That  is,  cousin,  very  true,  so  will  there  some 


be  content  either  to  think,  or  make  as  though  they  thought. 
But  those  are  they  that  are  content  to  give  nought, 
because  they  be  nought.  But  our  question  is,  cousin, 
not  of  them,  but  of  good  folk,  that  by  the  keeping  of 
worldly  goods  and  keeping  thereof  may  stand  with  the 
state  of  grace.  Now  think  I,  cousin,  that  if  a  man  keep 
auamnabie  riches  about  him  for  a  glory  and  royalty  of  the 
state  of  rtcties.  world,  in  consideration  whereof  he  taketh  a 
great  delight,  arfid  liketh  himself  therefor  the  better, 
taking  the  poorer  for  the  lack  thereof  as  one  far  worse 
than  himself,  such  a  mind  is  very  vain,  foolish,  proud,  and 
such  a  man  is  very  naught  indeed. 

on  ^e  otner  side,  if  there  be  a  man 

tDerc  tuere  manp  such  (as  would  God  there  were  many!)  that 
hath  unto  riches  no  love,  but  having  it  fall 
abundantly  unto  him,  taketh  to  his  own  part  no  great 
a  perfect  Qoott  pleasure  thereof,  but  as  though  he  had  it  not, 
state  tn  riches,  keepeth  himself  in  like  abstinence  and  penance 
privily,  as  he  would  do  in  case  he  had  it  not,  and  in  such 
things  as  he  doth  openly  bestow  somewhat  more  liberally 
upon  himself  in  his  house  after  some  manner 
of  the  world,  lest  he  should  give  other  folk 
°ccasi°n  to  marvel  and  muse  and  talk  of  his 
fa-  manner,  and  misreport  him  for  an  hypocrite, 
therein  between  God  and  him  doth  truly  pro 
test  and  testify,  as  did  the  good  Queen  Hesther,*  that  he 
doth  it  not  for  any  desire  thereof  in  the  satisfying  of  his 
own  pleasure,  but  would  with  as  good  will  or  better,  forbear 
the  possession  of  riches,  saving  for  the  commodity  that 
other  men  have  by  its  disposing  thereof,  as  percase  in 
keeping  of  a  good  household  in  good  Christian  order  and 
fashion,  and  in  setting  other  folk  a  work  with  such  things 
as  they  gain  their  living  the  better  by  his  means,  this 
man's  having  of  riches  I  might  (methinketh)  in  merit 
match  in  a  manner  with  another  man's  forsaking  of  all, 
if  there  were  none  other  circumstances  more  pleasant 
unto  God  farther  added  unto  the  forsaking  beside,  as 
percase  for  the  more  fervent  contemplation  by  reason  of 
the  solicitude  of  all  worldly  business  left  off,  which  was 
*  Hester,  xiv. 


the  thing  that  made  Mary  Magdalene's  part  the  better.* 
For  else  would  Christ  have  caused  her  much  more  thank, 
to  go  about  and  be  busy  in  helping  her  sister  Martha  to 
dress  his  dinner,  than  to  take  her  stool,  and  sit  down  at 
her  ease,  and  do  nought. 

Now,  if  he  that  have  this  good  and  riches  by  him, 
have  not  haply  fully  so  perfect  mind,  but  somewhat  loveth 
to  keep  himself  from  lack,  and  not  so  fully  as  a  pure 
Christian  fashion  requireth,  determined  to  abandon  his 
pleasure;  well,  what  will  you  more?  The  man  is  so 

much  the  less  perfect  than  I  would  he  were,   , 

,,        ,,        C.         ,„  ,,       •  i      >n  •,  aseconU  an& 

and  haply  than  himself  would  wish,  ir  it  were  less  perfect 

as  easy  to  be  it,  as  to  wish  it.  But  yet  not  by  $Utc  inricf)es' 
and  bye  in  the  state  of  damnation,  no  more  than  he  that 
forsaking  all  and  entering  into  religion,  is  not  yet  alway 
so  clear  departed  from  all  worldly  affections,  as  himself 
would  very  fain  he  were  and  much  bewaileth  that  he  is 
not.  Of  whom  some  man  that  hath  in  the  world  willingly 
forsaken  the  likelihood  of  right  worshipful  rooms,  hath 
afterward  had  much  ado  to  keep  himself  from  the  desire 
of  the  office  of  cellarer  or  sexton,  to  bear  yet  at  the  least 
wise  some  rule  and  authority,  though  it  were  but  among 
the  bells.  But  God  is  more  merciful  to  man's  imperfec 
tion,  if  the  man  know  it,  and  knowledge  it,  and  mislike  it, 
and  little  and  little  labour  to  amend  it,  than  to  reject  and 
cast  off  him,  that  after  as  his  frailty  can  bear  and  suffer, 
hath  a  general  intent  and  purpose  to  please  him,  and  to 
prefer  or  set  by  nothing  in  all  this  world  before  him. 

And  therefore,  cousin,  to  make  an  end  of  this  piece 
withal; — A  negotio  perambulante  in  tenebris,  —  Of  this 
devil,  I  mean,  that  the  prophet  calleth  Business  walking 
in  the  darkness :  if  a  man  have  a  mind  to  serve  God  and 
please  him,  and  rather  lose  all  the  good  he  hath  than 
wittingly  do  deadly  sin,  and  would  withal  murmur  or 
grudge  give  it  every  whit  away,  in  case  that 
God  should  so  command  him,  and  intend  to  te  kept 
take  it  patiently,  if  God  would  take  it  from 
him,  and  glad  would  be  to  use  it  unto  God's  pleasure,  and 
do  his  diligence  to  know  and  to  be  taught,  what  manner 


using  thereof  God  would  be  pleased  with ;  and  therein 
from  time  to  time  be  glad  to  follow  the  counsel  of  good 
virtuous  men,  though  he  neither  give  away  all  at  once  nor 
give  every  man  that  asketh  him  neither  (let  every  man 
fear  and  think  in  this  world,  that  all  the  good  that  he 
doth,  or  can  do,  is  a  great  deal  too  little),  but  yet  for  all 
that  fear,  let  him  dwell  therewith  in  the  faithful  hope  of 
God's  help.  And  then  shall  the  truth  of  God  so  com 
pass  him  about  (as  the  prophet  saith)  with  a  pavice,  that 
he  shall  not  so  need  to  dread  the  trains  and  the  tempta 
tions  of  this  devil  that  the  prophet  calleth  Business, 
walking  about  in  the  darknesses,  but  that  he  shall  for  all 
the  having  of  riches  and  worldly  substance,  so  avoid  his 
trains  and  his  temptations,  that  he  shall  in  conclusion  by 
the  great  and  almighty  mercy  of  God,  get  into  heaven 
well  enough.  And  now  was  I,  cousin,  about  lo,  after 
this  piece  thus  ended,  to  bid  them  bring  in  our  dinner,  but 
now  shall  I  not  need,  lo ;  for  here  they  come  with  it 

VINCENT. — Forsooth,  good  uncle,  God  disposeth  and 
timeth  your  matter  and  your  dinner  both,  I  trust.  For 
the  end  of  your  tale  (for  which  our  Lord  reward  you  !) 
and  the  beginning  here  of  your  good  dinner  too  (from 
which  it  were  more  than  pity  that  you  should  any  longer 
have  tarried)  meet  even  at  the  close  together. 

ANTONY. — Well,  cousin,  now  will  we  say  grace,  and 
then  for  a  while  will  we  leave  talking,  and  essay  how  our 
dinner  shall  like  us,  and  how  fair  we  can  fall  to  feeding. 
Which  done,  you  know  my  customable  guise  (for  manner 
I  may  not  call  it,  because  the  guise  is  unmannerly)  to  bid 
you  not  farewell,  but  steal  away  from  you  to  sleep.  But, 
you  wot  well,  I  am  not  wont  at  afternoon  to  sleep  long, 
but  even  a  little  to  forget  the  world.  And  when  I  wake, 
I  will  again  come  to  you,  and  then  is  (God  willing)  all 
this  long  day  ours,  wherein  we  shall  have  time  enough, 
to  talk  more  than  shall  suffice  for  the  finishing  of  this 
one  part  of  our  matter,  which  only  now  remaineth. 

VINCENT. — I  pray  you,  good  uncle,  keep  your  custom 
able  manner,  for  manner  may  you  call  it  well  enough. 
For  as  it  were  against  good  manner,  to  look  that  a  man 


should  kneel  down  for  courtesy,  when  his  knee  is  sore ; 
so  is  it  very  good  manner,  that  a  man  of  your  age, 
aggrieved  with  such  sundry  sicknesses  beside,  that  suffer 
you  not  alway  to  sleep  when  you  should,  let  his  sleep  not 
slip  away,  but  take  it  when  he  may.  And  I  will,  uncle, 
in  the  meanwhile  steal  from  you  too,  and  speed  a  little 
errand,  and  return  to  you  again. 

ANTONY. — Tarry  while  you  will,  and  when  you  have 
dined,  go  at  your  pleasure,  but  I  pray  you  tarry  not  long. 

VINCENT. — You  shall  not  need,  uncle,  to  put  me  in 
mind  of  that ;  I  would  as  fain  have  up  the  remnant  of  our 

192  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 


The  Third  and  Last  Book  of  Consolation  and  Comfort  in 

INCENT.—  SOMEWHAT  have  I  tarried  the 
longer,  uncle,  partly  for  that  I  was  loth  to 
come  over  soon  lest  my  soon  coming  might 
have  happed  to  have  made  you  wake  too 
soon  :  but  specially  by  the  reason  that  I  was 
letted  with  one  that  shewed  me  a  letter 
dated  at  Constantinople,  by  which  letter  it  appeareth, 
that  the  Great  Turk  prepareth  a  marvellous 
mighty  army,  and  yet  whither  he  will  there- 
tijanone.  with,  that  can  there  yet  no  man  tell.  But  I 
fear  in  good  faith,  uncle,  that  his  voyage  shall  be  hither. 
Howbeit,  he  that  wrote  the  letter,  saith  that  it  is  secretly 
said  in  Constantinople,  that  great  part  of  his  army  shall 
be  shipped  and  sent  either  into  Naples,  or  into  Sicily. 

ANTONY. — It  may  fortune,  cousin,  that  the  letter  of  the 
Venetian  dated  at  Constantinople,  was  devised  at  Venice. 
From  thence  come  there  some  among,  and  sometime  from 
Rome  too,  and  sometime  also  from  other  places,  letters 
all  found  full  of  such  tidings,  that  the  Turk  is  ready  to 

oatenoiieittes  do  some  &Teat  exPloit-  Which  tidings  they 
are  sometimes  blow  about  for  the  furtherance  of  some  such 
affairs,  as  they  then  have  themself  in  hand.  The 
Turk  hath  also  so  many  men  of  arms  in  his  retinue  at  his 
continual  charge,  that  lest  they  should  lie  still  and  do 
nothing,  but  peradventure  fall  in  devising  of  some  novel 
ties  among  themself,  he  is  fain  yearly  to  make  some 
assemblies  and  some  changing  of  them  from  one  place 



unto  another,  and  past  time  sort  asunder,  that  they  wax 
not  over  well  acquainted  by  dwelling  over  long  together. 
By  these  ways  also  he  maketh  those  that  he  mindeth 
suddenly  to  invade  indeed,  the  less  to  look  therefor,  and 
thereby  the  less  preparation  to  make  before,  while  they 
see  him  so  many  times  make  a  great  visage  of  war  when 
he  mindeth  it  not ;  but  then  at  one  time  or  other  they 
suddenly  feel  it,  when  they  fear  it  not.  Howbeit,  full 
likely,  cousin,  it  is  of  very  truth,  that  unto  this  realm  of 
Hungary  he  will  not  fail  to  come.  For  neither  is  there 
any  country  through  Christendom,  that  lieth  for  him  so 
meet,  nor  never  was  there  any  time  till  now,  in  which  he 
might  so  well  and  surely  win  it.  For  now  call  we  him  in 
ourself(God  save  us!)  as  ^Esop  telleth,  that  #0te tfc para- 
the  sheep  took  in  the  wolf  unto  them,  to  keep  gj'jjjg.1*11 
them  from  the  dogs. 

VINCENT. — Then  are  there  very  like,  good  uncle,  all 
these  tribulations  to  fall  upon  us  here,  that  I  spake  of 
in  the  beginning  of  our  first  communication  here  the 
other  day. 

ANTONY.— Very  truth  it  is,  cousin,  that  so  there  will  of 
likelihood  in  a  while,  but  not  forthwith  all  at  the  first. 
For  while  he  cometh  under  the  colour  of  aid  Cj).g  fe  tf)f 
for  the  one  against  the  other,  he  will  some-  ngijt  practice  of 
what  see  the  proof,  before  he  fully  shew  him-  * 
self.     But  in  conclusion,  if  he  be  able  to  get  it  for  him, 
you  shall  see  him  so  handle  it,  that  he  shall  not  fail  to 
get  it  from  him,  and  that  forthwith  out  of  hand,  ere  ever 
he  suffer  him  settle  himself  over  sure  therein. 

VINCENT. — Yet  say  they,  uncle,  that  he  useth  not 
to  force  any  man  to  forsake  his  faith. 

ANTONY. — Not  any  man,  cousjp  ?     They  say  more  than 
they  can  make  good,  that  tell   you  so.     He  maketh  a 
solemn    oath    among   the    ceremonies   of  that   feast,   in 
which   he  first  taketh  upon  him  his  authority,  that  he 
shall,  in  all  that  he  possibly  may,  minish  the  sn,e  cwt's' 
faith  of  Christ,   and  dilate  the  faith  of  Ma-   oat|)- 
hornet.     But  yet  hath  he  not  used  to  force  every  whole 
country  at  once   to  forsake   their  faith.      For  of  some 
countries  hath  he  been  content  only  to  take  a  tribute 


yearly,  and  let  them  live  there  as  they  list.  Out  of  some  he 
taketh  the  whole  people  away,  dispersing  them  for  slaves 
among  many  sundry  countries  of  his,  very  far  from  their 
own,  without  any  suffrance  of  regress.  Some  country  so 
great  and  populous,  that  they  cannot  well  be  carried  and 
conveyed  thence,  he  destroyeth  the  gentlemen,  and 
giveth  their  lands,  part  to  such  as  he  bringeth,  and  part 
to  such  as  willingly  will  deny  their  faith,  arid  keepeth  the 
&ade  not  otfier  ot>ner  *n  sucn  misery,  that  they  were  in  man- 
Curfts  none  M  ner  as  good  to  be  dead  at  once.  In  rest  he 
suffereth  also  no  Christian  man  almost,  but 
those  that  resort  as  merchants,  or  those  that  offer  them- 
self  to  serve  him  in  his  war. 

But  as  for  those  Christian  countries,  that  he  useth  not 
for  only  tributaries,  as  he  doth  Chio,  Cyprus,  or  Candy, 
but  reckoneth  for  clear  conquest,  and  utterly  taketh  for 
his  own,  as  Morea,  Greece,  and  Macedonia,  and  such 
other  like  (and  as  I  verily  think,  he  will  Hungary,  if  he 
get  it),  in  all  those  useth  he  Christian  people  after  sundry 
fashions.  He  letteth  them  dwell  there  indeed,  because 
they  were  too  many  to  carry  all  away,  and  too 
tian  tfatfloifc'  many  to  kill  them  all  too ;  but  if  he  should 
sometfmesa"na  e^aer  leave  the  land  dispeopled  and  desolate, 
trics°me  ™un*  or  e^se  some  °ther  countries  of  his  own,  from 
whence  he  should  (which  would  not  well  be 
done)  convey  the  people  thither,  to  people  that  land 
withal :  there,  lo,  those  that  will  not  be  turned  from 
their  faith,  of  which  God  keepeth  (lauded  be  his  holy 
name !)  very  many,  he  suffereth  to  dwell  still  in  peace. 
But  yet  is  their  peace  for  all  that  not  very  peaceable. 
For  lands  he  suffereth  them  to  have  none  of  their  own ; 
office  or  honest  room  they  bear  none :  with  occasions  of 
his  wars  he  filleth  them  with  taxes  and  tollages  unto  the 
bare  bones,  their  children  he  chooseth  where  he  list  in 
their  youth,  and  taketh  them  from  their  parents,  convey 
ing  them  whither  he  list,  where  their  friends  never  see 
them  after,  and  abuseth  them  as  he  list.  Some  young 
maids  he  maketh  harlots,  some  young  men  he  bringeth 
up  in  war,  and  some  young  children  he  causeth  to  be 
gelded,  not  their  stones  cut  out,  as  the  custom  was  of  old, 


but  cutteth  off  their  whole  members  by  the  body :  how 
few  scape  and  live,  he  little  forceth  ;  for  he  will  have 
enough.  And  all  that  he  so  taketh  young  to  any  use  of 
his  own,  are  betaken  unto  such  Turks  or  false  renegades 
to  keep,  that  they  be  turned  from  the  faith  of  Christ 
every  one,  or  else  so  handled,  that  as  for  this  world  they 
come  to  an  evil  chieving.  For  beside  many  other  con 
tumelies  and  despites  that  the  Turks  and  the  false  rene 
gade  Christians  many  times  do  to  good  Christian  people 
that  still  persevere  and  abide  by  the  faith ;  they  find  the 
mean  sometime  to  make  some  false  shrews  ^ote  t^lg  prac. 
say,  that  they  heard  such  a  Christian  man  ttce  practtscn 
speak  opprobrious  words  against  Mahomet, 
and  upon  that  point  falsely  testified,  will  they  take  occa 
sion  to  compel  him  forsake  the  faith  of  Christ,  and  turn 
unto  the  profession  of  their  shameful  superstitious  sect, 
or  else  will  they  put  him  to  death  with  cruel  intolerable 

VINCENT. — Our  Lord,  uncle,  for  his  mighty  mercy  keep 
those  wretches  hence  !     For  by  my  troth,  if  they  hap  to 
come  hither,  methink  I  see  many  more  tokens  than  one, 
that  we  shall  have  of  our  own  folk  here  ready  to  fall  in 
unto  them.     For  like  as  before  a  great  storm  agoo&simm- 
the  sea  begin neth  sometime  to  work  and  roar  tm- 
in  itself,  ere  ever  the  winds  wax  boisterous;  so  methink 
I   hear  at  mine  ear,  some  of  our  own  here  among  us, 
which  within  these  few  years  could  no  more  have  borne 
the  name  of  a  Turk,  than  the  name  of  a  devil,  srfietoorst  foitt 
begin  now  to  find  little  fault  therein,  yea  and  JSKSuinenn 
some  to  praise  them  too,  little  and  little  as  faults. 
they  may,  more  glad   to    find   fault,    at   every    state   of 
Christendom,    priests,   princes,    rites,   ceremonies,  sacra 
ments,  laws,  and  customs,  spiritual,  and  temporal,  and  all. 
ANTONY. — In  good   faith,   cousin,  so  begin  we  to  fare 
here  indeed,  and  that  but  even  now  of  late.     For  since  the 
title  of  the  Crown  hath  come  in  question,  the  good  rule  of 
this  realm  hath  very  sore  decayed,  as  little  while  as  it  is. 
And  undoubtedly  Hungary  shall  never  do  well,  a  otep  point  of 
as  long  as  it  standeth  in  this  case,  that  men's 
minds  hearken  after  novelties,  and  have  their 

o  2 

196  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 

hearts  hanging  upon  a  change.  And  much  the  worse  I 
like  it,  when  their  words  walk  so  large  toward  the  favour 
of  the  Turk's  sect,  which  they  were  ever  wont  to  have  in 
so  great  abomination,  as  every  true  minded  Christian  man, 
and  Christian  woman  too,  must  have.  I  am  of  such  age 
as  you  see,  and  verily  from  as  far  as  I  can  remember,  it 
hath  been  marked  and  often  proved  true,  that  when  chil 
dren  have  in  Buda  fallen  in  a  phantasy  by  themself  to 
draw  together,  and  in  their  playing  make  as  it  were  corses 
carried  to  church,  and  sing  after  their  childish  fashion 
the  tune  of  the  Dirige,  there  hath  great  death  there 
shortly  followed  after.  And  twice  or  thrice  I  may 
remember  in  my  days,  when  children  in  divers  parts  of 
this  realm  have  gathered  themself  in  sundry  companies, 
and  made,  as  it  were,  parties  and  battles,  and  after  their 
battles  in  sport,  wherein  some  children  have  yet  taken 
great  hurt,  there  hath  fallen  very  battle  and  very  deadly 
war  indeed. 

These  tokens  were  somewhat  like  your  ensample  of  the 
sea,  sith  they  be  (of  things  that  after  follow)  tokens  fore 
going  through  some  secret  motion  or  instinct,  whereof 
the  cause  is  unknown.  But  by  St.  Mary  !  cousin,  these 
Hote  Hie  itfec  tokens  like  I  much  worse,  these  tokens,  I  say, 
tola  fa»our  not  of  children's  plays,  nor  of  children's  songs, 
Ss in * Jpian-  but  old  shrews'  large  open  words,  so  boldly 
spoken  in  the  favour  of  Mahomet's  sect,  in 
this  realm  of  Hungary  that  hath  been  ever  hitherto  a 
very  sure  key  of  Christendom.  And  out  of  doubt,  if 

Hungary  be  lost,  and  that  the  Turk  have  it 
flote  torll  tfjts  f         '      -i  -     '  •         i         in  -i 

point,  anu  con-   once  fast  in  his  possession,  he  shall  ere  it  be 

tot?  tn  ru?™1  l°ng  after,  have  an  open  ready  way  into  almost 
anttKroSt.  l^e  remnant  °f  a^  Christendom  :  though  he 
ants'  practice  win  it  not  all  in  a  week,  the  great  part  will  be 
IiinQS'  won  after,  I  fear  me,  within  very  few  years. 

VINCENT. — But  yet  evermore  I  trust  in  Christ,  good 
uncle,  that  he  shall  not  suffer  that  abominable  sect  of  his 
mortal  enemies  in  such  wise  to  prevail  against  his  Chris 
tian  countries. 

ANTONY. — That  is  very  well  said,  cousin.  Let  us  have 
our  sure  hope  in  him,  and  then  shall  we  be  very  sure, 


that  we  shall  not  be  deceived.     For  either  shall  we  have 
the  thing  that  we  hope  for,  or  a  better  thing  in  the  stead. 
For  as  for  the  thing  itself  that  we  pray  for,  and  hope  to 
have,  God  will  not  alway  send  us.     And  therefore,  as  I 
said  in  our  first  communication,  in  all  thing  (save  only  for 
heaven)  our  prayer  nor  our  hope  may  never  be  too  pre 
cise,  although  the  thing  be  lawful  to  require.     Verily  if  we 
people  of  the  Christian  nations  were  such,  as  would  God 
we  were  i   I  would  little  fear  all  the  preparations  that  the 
Great  Turk  could  make;   no  nor  yet  being  as  bad  as  we 
be,  I  nothing  doubt  at  all,  but  that  in  conclu-    *oraurtat 
sion,  how  base  soever  Christendom  be  brought,   arurfcs  aim  fa 
it  shall  spring  up  again,  till  the  time  be  come 
very  near  to  "the  day  of  doom,  whereof  some 
tokens  as  methinketh  are  not  come  yet.     But  spring  up 
somewhat  before  that  time  shall  Christendom  aplu 
be   straited  sore,  and  brought  into  so  narrow  a  compass, 
that  according  unto  Christ's  words,  Filius  hominis  veniens, 
putas,  inveniet  fidem  in  terra? — When  the  Son  of  Man 
shall  come  again,*  that  is  to  wit,  to  the  day  of  general 
judgment,  weenest  thou  that  he  shall  find  faith  in  the 
earth  ?     As  who  say,  but  a  little.     For  as   appeareth  in 
the  Apocalypse  f   and    other    places    of  Scripture,^    the 
faith  shall  be  at  that  time  so  far  faded,  that  he  shall  for 
the  love  of  his  elect,  lest  they  should  fall  and  perish  too, 
abridge  those  days  and  accelerate  his  coming.     But,  as  I 
say,  methink  I  miss  yet  in  my  mind  some  of  those  tokens 
that  shall  by  the  Scripture  come  a  good  while  before  that. 
And    among   other   the    coming    of  the   Jews,   and  the 
dilating  of  Christendom  again  before  the  world  come  to 
that  straight.     So  that,  I  say,  for  mine  own  mind,  I  little 
doubt,  but  that  this  ungracious  sect  of  Ma-  BotfiKurks 

hornet   shall    have    a   foul    fall,  Christendom  ana  famics 

,     n  ,  ?  .        sflall  Ijator  a 

spring  and  spread,  nower,  and  increase  again,  fait  at  last. 

Howbeit  that  pleasure  and  comfort  shall  they  see,  that 
shall  be  born  after  that  we  be  buried  (I  fear  me)  both 
twain.  For  God  giveth  us  great  likelihood,  Curts  anft  ^ 
that  for  our  sinful  wretched  living,  he  goeth  rcticsar 
about  to  make  these  infidels,  that  are  his  s 

*  Luc.  xviii.  f  Apocal.  i.  J  Matth.  xxiy. 

198  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFOUT 

open  professed  enemies,  the  sorrowful  scourge  of  correc 
tion  over  evil  Christian  people,  that  should  be  faithful, 
and  of  truth  are  his  falsely  professed  friends.  And 
surely,  cousin,  albeit  that  methinketh  I  see  divers  evil 
tokens  of  this  misery  coming  to  us,  yet  can  there  not  in 
my  mind  be  a  worse  prognostication  thereof,  than  this 
ungracious  token  that  you  note  here  yourself.  For 
undoubtedly,  cousin,  this  new  manner  here  of  men's 
favourable  fashion  in  their  language  toward  these  ungra 
cious  Turks,  dcclareth  plainly,  that  not  only  their  minds 
giveth  them,  that  hither  in  shall  he  come,  but  also  that 
they  can  be  content,  both  to  live  under  him,  and  over 
that,  from  the  true  faith  of  Christ  to  fall  into  Mahomet's 
false  abominable  sect. 

VINCENT. — Verily,  my  uncle,  as  I  go  more  about  than 
an  ijeabp  sear-  Jou>  so  mus^  I  needs  more  hear  (which  is  an 
tnginbecu.  heavy  hearing  in  my  ear)  the  manner  of  men 
in  this  matter,  which  increaseth  about  as  here.  I  trust  in 
other  places  of  this  realm  by  God's  grace  it  is  otherwise. 
But  in  this  quarter  here  about  us,  many  of  these  fellows 
that  are  met  for  the  war,  first  were  wont,  as  it  were  in 
sport,  and  in  a  while  after  half  between  game  and  earnest, 
and  by  our  Lady  !  now  not  far  from  fair  flat  earnest 
grfjese  srurfcs  indeed,  talk  as  though  they  looked  for  a  day, 
ISeStMr  wnen  with  a  turn  unto  the  Turk's  faith  they 
flap,  should  be  made  masters  here  of  true  Chris 

tian  men's  bodies,  and  owners  of  all  their  goods. 

ANTONY. — Though  I  go  little  abroad,  cousin,  yet  hear  I 
sometime,  when  I  say  little,  almost  as  much  as  that.  But 
while  there  is  no  man  to  complain  to  for  the  redress, 
what  remedy  but  patience,  and  fain  to  sit  still,  and  hold 
my  peace  ?  For  of  these  two  that  strive  whether  of  them 
both  shall  reign  upon  us,  and  each  of  them  calleth  him 
self  king,  and  both  twain  put  the  people  to  pain  :  the  one 
is,  you  wot  well,  too  far  from  our  quarter  here  to  help  us 
in  this  behalf.  And  the  other,  while  he  looketh 
^r  the  Turk's  aid,  either  will  not,  or  well  dare 
not  (*  ween)  ^n(l  anY  fault  with  them  that 
favour  the  Turk  and  his  sect.  For  of  Turks 
natural  this  country  lacketh  none  now,  which 


are  here  conversant  under  diverse  pretexts,  and  of  every 
thing  advertise  the  Great  Turk  full  surely.  And  there 
fore,  cousin,  albeit  that  I  would  advise  every  roan,  pray 
still  and  call  unto  God  to  hold  his  gracious  hand  over  us, 
and  keep  away  this  wretchedness,  if  his  pleasure  be  :  yet 
would  I  farther  advise  every  good  Christian  body  to 
remember  and  consider,  that  it  is  very  likely  to  come,  and 
therefore  make  his  reckoning  and  cast  his  e^  fo  foregee 
pennyworths  before,  and  every  man  and  every  anu  forecast  ttje 
woman  appoint  with  God's  help  in  their  own 
mind  before  hand,  what  thing  they  intend  to  do,  if  the 
very  worst  fall. 

200  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 


Whether  a  man  should  cast  in  his  mind  and  appoint  in  his 
heart  before,  that  if  he  were  taken  with  Turhs,  he  would 
rather  die  than  forsake  the  faith. 

INCENT.  —  WELL  fare  your  heart,  good 
uncle,  for  this  good  counsel  of  yours.  For 
surely  methinketh  that  this  is  marvellous 
good.  But  yet  heard  I  once  a  right  cun 
ning  and  a  very  good  man  say,  that  it 
were  great  folly,  and  very  perilous  too, 
that  a  man  should  think  upon  any  such  thing,  or  imagine 
any  such  case  in  his  mind,  for  fear  of  double  peril  that 
may  follow  thereupon.  For  either  shall  he  be  likely  to 
answer  himself  to  the  case  put  by  himself,  that  he  will 
rather  suffer  any  painful  death,  than  forsake  his  faith, 
and  by  that  bold  appointment,  should  he  fall  in  the  fault 
of  St.  Peter  *  that  of  oversight  made  a  proud  promise,  and 
soon  had  a  foul  fall ;  or  else  were  he  likely  to  think  that 
rather  than  abide  the  pain,  he  would  forsake  God  indeed, 
and  by  that  mind  should  he  sin  deadly  through  his  own 
folly,  whereas  he  needeth  not,  as  he  that  shall  peradven- 
ture  never  come  in  the  peril  to  be  put  thereunto.  And 
that  therefore  it  were  most  wisdom  never  to  think  upon, 
any  such  manner  case. 

ANTONY. — I  believe  well,  cousin,  that  you  have  heard 

some  man  that  would  so  say.     For  I  can  shew  almost  as 

much  as  that  left  of  a  good  man  and  a  great  solemn 

doctor  in  writing.     But  yet,  cousin,  although  I  should 

*  Johan.  xiii. ;   Luc.  xxii. 


hap  to  find  one  or  two  more,  as  good  men  and  as  learned 
too,  that  would  both  twain  say  and  write  the  ©neorttoo 
same,  yet  would  I  not  fear  for  my  part  to  g^iggt, 
counsel  my  friend  to  the  contrary.  For,  tic  trustee  " 
cousin,  if  his  mind  answer  him,  as  St.  Peter  answered 
Christ,  that  he  will  rather  die  than  forsake  him,  though 
he  say  therein  more  unto  himself,  than  he  should  be  per- 
adventure  able  to  make  good,  if  it  came  to  the  point,  yet 
perceive  I  not  that  he  doth  in  that  thought  any  deadly 
displeasure  unto  God,  nor  St.  Peter,  though  he  said  more 
than  he  did  perform,  yet  in  his  so  saying  offended  not 
God  greatly  neither.  But  his  offence  was,  when  he  did 
not  after  so  well,  as  he  said  before.  But  now  may  this 
man  be  likely  never  to  fall  in  the  peril  of  breaking  that 
appointment,  sith  of  some  ten  thousand  that  so  shall 
examine  themself,  never  one  shall  fall  in  that  peril,  and 
yet  to  have  that  good  purpose  all  their  life,  seemeth  me  no 
more  harm  the  while,  than  a  poor  beggar  that  hath  never 
a  penny,  to  think  that  if  he  had  great  substance,  he 
would  give  great  alms  for  God's  sake. 

But  now  is  all  the  peril,  if  the  man  answer  himself,  that 
he  would  in  such  case  rather  forsake  the  faith  of  Christ 
with  his  mouth,  and  keep  it  still  in  his  heart,  than  for 
the  confessing  of  it  to  endure  a  painful  death.  For  by 
this  mind  falleth  he  in  deadly  sin,  which  while  he  never 
cometh  in  the  case  indeed,  if  he  never  had  put  himself 
the  case  he  never  had  fallen  in.  But  in  good  faith  me- 
thinketh,  that  he  which  upon  that  case  put  unto  himself 
by  himself,  will  make  himself  that  answer,  hath  the  habit 
of  faith  so  faint  and  so  cold,  that  to  the  better 
knowledge  of  himself,  and  of  his  necessity  to 
pray  for  more  strength  of  grace,  he  had  need 
to  have  the  question  put  him,  either  by  himself,  or  some 
other  man. 

Besides  this,  to  counsel  a  man  never  to  think  on  the 
case,  is  in  my  mind  as  much  reason  as  the  medicine  that  I 
have  heard   taught  one  for  the  tooth-ache,  to  a  tncttfctne  for 
go  thrice  about  a  churchyard,  and  never  think  tfic toot{)=adjc. 
upon  a  fox-tail.     For  if  the  counsel  be  not  given  them,  it 
cannot  serve  them ;  and  if  it  be  given  them,  it  must  put 


that  point  of  the  matter  in  their  mind,  which  by  and  by 
to  reject,  and  think  therein  neither  one  thing  or  other,  is 
a  thing  that  may  be  sooner  bidden  than  obeyed.  I  ween 
also  that  very  few  men  can  escape  it,  but  that  though 
they  would  never  think  thereon  by  themself,  yet  in  one 
place  or  other,  where  they  shall  hap  to  come  in  company, 
they  shall  have  the  question  by  adventure  so  proposed 
and  put  forth,  that  like  as  while  he  heareth  one  talking 
to  him,  he  may  well  wink  if  he  will  but  he 
tim7an&cann!t  cannot  make  himself  sleep :  so  shall  he,  whe 
ther  he  will  or  no,  think  one  thing  or  other 

Finally,  when  Christ  spake  so  often  and  so  plain  of 
the  matter,  that  every  man  should  upon  pain  of  damna 
tion,  openly  confess  his  faith,*  if  men  took  him  and  by 
dread  of  death  would  drive  him  to  the  contrary ;  it 
seemeth  me  in  a  manner  implied  therein,  that  we  be  bound 
retfcs  conditionally  to  have  evermore  that  mind, 
actually  sometime,  and  evermore  habitually, 
tnat  if  tne  case  so  should  fall,  then,  (with  God's 
help),  so  we  would.  And  where  they  find  in 
tt)tnfeanimo  the  thinking  thereon,  their  hearts  agrise,  and 
shrink  in  the  remembrance  of  the  pain  that 
their  imagination  representeth  to  the  mind,  then  must 
they  call  to  mind  and  remember  the  great  pain  and 
torment  that  Christ  suffered  for  them,  and  heartily  pray 
for  grace  that  if  the  case  should  so  fall,  God  should 
give  them  strength  to  stand.  And  thus  with  exercise  of 
such  meditation,  though  men  should  never  stand  full  out 
of  fear  of  falling,  yet  must  they  persevere  in  good  hope, 
and  in  full  purpose  of  standing. 

And  this  seemeth  me,  cousin,  so  far  forth  the  mind, 

that  every  Christian  man  and  woman  must  needs  have, 

•Note  tijis  nuts  ^at  methinketh  that  every  curate  should  often 

of  curates  anif   counsel  all  his  parishioners,  and  every  man  and 

woman,  their  servants  and  their  children,  even 

beginning  in  their  tender  youth,  to  know  this  point,  and  to 

think  thereon,  and  little  and  little  from  their  very  childhood 

to  accustom  them  dulcely  and  pleasantly  in  the  meditation 

*  Matth.  x. ;  Luc.  xii. 


thereof,  whereby  the  goodness  of  God  shall  not  fail  so  to 
aspire  the  grace  of  his  Holy  Spirit  into  their  hearts  in 
reward  of  that  virtuous  diligence,  that  through  such 
actual  meditation,  he  shall  confirm  them  in  such  a  sure 
habit  of  spiritual  faithful  strength,  that  all  the  devils  in 
hell  with  all  the  wrestling  that  they  can  make,  shall  never 
be  able  to  wrest  it  out  of  their  heart. 

VINCENT. — By  my  troth,  uncle,  methinketh  you  say 
very  well. 

ANTONY. — I  say  surely,  cousin,  as  I  think.  And  yet 
all  this  have  I  said,  concerning  them  that  dwell  in  such 
places,  as  they  be  never  like  in  their  lives  to  come  in  the 
danger  to  be  put  to  the  proof.  Howbeit  many  a  man 
may  ween  himself  farther  therefrom,  that  yet  ^oto  manp  are 
may  fortune  by  some  one  chance  or  other,  to  nom  faiien'm 
fall  in  the  case  that  either  for  the  truth  of  aniiSKo? 
faith,  or  for  the  truth  of  justice  (which  go  fersfcutjon m 
almost  alike)  he  may  tall  in  the  case.  JJut  faitf)  or  justice. 
now  be  you  and  I,  cousin,  and  all  our  friends  w 
here,  far  in  another  point.  For  we  be  so  likely  to  fall  in 
the  experience  thereof  so  soon,  that  it  had  been  more 
time  for  us  (all  other  things  set  aside)  to  have  devised 
upon  this  matter,  and  firmly  to  have  settled  ourself  upon 
a  fast  point  long  ago,  than  to  begin  to  commune  and 
counsel  upon  it  now. 

VINCENT. — In  good  faith,  uncle,  you  say  therein  very 
truth,  and  would  God  it  had  come  sooner  in  my  mind  ;  but 
better  is  yet  late,  than  never.  And  I  trust  God  shall  yet 
give  us  respite  and  time,  whereof,  uncle,  that  we  lose  no 
part,  I  pray  you  proceed  now  with  your  good  counsel 

ANTONY. — Very  gladly,  cousin,  shall  I  now  go  forth  in 
the  fourth  temptation,  which  only  remaineth  to  be  treated 
of,  and  properly  pertaineth  whole  unto  this  present  pur 

204  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 


Of  the  fourth  temptation,  which  is  persecution  for  the 
faith,  touched  in  these  words  of  the  prophet,  Ab  incursu 
et  daemonic  meridiano. 

fourth  temptation,  cousin,  that  the  pro 
phet  speaketh  of  in  the  foreremembered 
psalm,  Qui  habitat  in  arljutorio  Altissimi, 
&c.  is  plain  open  persecution,  which  is 
touched  in  these  words,  Ab  incursu  et  dee- 
monio  meridiano.  And  of  all  his  temptations 

this  is  the  most  perilous,  the  most  bitter,  sharp, 
&f)ts  tnnpta*  ,  ,    .  -pi          i  ,  i     ' 

«<m  most  peril-  and  most  rigorous.  ror  whereas  in  other  temp 
tations  he  useth  either  pleasant  allectives  unto 
sin,  or  other  secret  sleights  and  trains,  and  cometh  in  the 
night  and  stealeth  on  in  the  dark  unaware,  or  in  some 
other  part  of  the  day  flieth  and  passeth  by  like  an  arrow, 
so  shaping  himself  sometime  in  one  fashion,  sometime  in 
another,  and  so  dissimuling  himself  and  his  high  mortal 
malice,  that  a  man  is  thereby  so  blinded  and  beguiled, 
that  he  may  not  sometime  perceive  well  what  he  is.  In 
SffiJDo  seetij  not  this  temptation,  this  plain  open  persecution  for 
tftS  f&SSr*  tne  faitll»  he  cometh  even  in  the  very  mid-day, 
imuaac  ncbii  ?  that  is  to  wit,  even  upon  them  that  have  an 
high  light  of  faith  shining  in  their  heart,  and  openly  suf- 
fereth  himself  so  plainly  be  perceived,  by  his  fierce, 
furious,  malicious  persecution  against  the  faithful  Chris 
tian,  for  hatred  of  Christ's  true  Catholic  faith,  that  no 
man  having  faith  can  doubt  what  he  is.  For  in  this 
temptation  he  sheweth  himself  such  as  the  prophet 
nameth  him,  Dcemonium  meridianum, — the  midday  devil : 


he  may  be  so  lightsomely  seen  with  the  eye  of  a  faithful 
soul,  by  his  fierce  furious  assault  and  incursion.  For 
therefore  saith  the  prophet,  that  the  truth  of  God  shall 
compass  that  man  round  about,  that  dwelleth  in  the 
faithful  hope  of  his  help  with  a  pavice,  Ab  incursu  tt 
dcemonio  meridiano, — from  the  incursion  and  the  devil  of 
the  midday,  because  this  kind  of  persecution  is  not  a 
wily  temptation,  but  a  furious  force  and  a  terrible  incur 
sion.*  In  other  of  his  temptations  he  stealeth  on  like  a 
fox  :  but  in  this  Turk's  persecution  for  the 
faith  he  runneth  on  roaring  with  assault  like  a  a,3ptna  lum 
ramping  lion. 

This  temptation  is  of  all  temptations  also  the  most 
perilous.  For  whereas  in  temptations  of  prosperity,  he 
useth  only  delectable  allectives  to  move  a  man  to  sin,  and 
in  other  kinds  of  tribulations  and  adversity  he  useth  only 
grief  and  pain  to  pull  a  man  into  murmur,  impatience, 
and  blasphemy  :  in  this  kind  of  persecution  for  the  faith 
of  Christ  he  useth  both  twain,  that  is  to  wit,  both  his 
allectives  of  quiet  and  rest  by  deliverance  from  death  and 
pain,  with  other  pleasures  also  of  this  present  life :  and 
beside  that,  the  terror  and  infliction  of  intolerable  pain 
and  torment.  In  other  tribulation,  as  loss,  or  sickness, 
or  death  of  our  friends,  though  the  pain  be  peradventure 
as  great  and  sometime  greater  too ;  yet  is  not  the  peril 
nowhere  nigh  half  so  much.  For  in  other  tribulations,  as 
I  said  before,  the  necessity  that  the  man  must  of  fine 
force  abide  and  endure  the  pain,  wax  he  never  so  wroth 
and  impatient  therewith,  is  a  great  reason  and  occasion  to 
move  him  to  keep  his  patience  therein,  and  be  content 
therewith,  and  thank  God  thereof,  and  of  necessity  to 
make  a  virtue  that  he  may  be  rewarded  for.  But  in  this 
temptation,  this  persecution  for  the  faith  (I  mean,  riot  by 
fight  in  the  field,  by  which  the  faithful  man  standeth  at 
his  defense,  and  putteth  the  faithless  in  half  the  fear,  arid 
half  the  harm  too),  but  where  he  is  taken  and  in  hold, 
and  may  for  the  forswearing  or  the  denying  of  his  faith 
be  delivered  arid  suffer  to  live  in  rest,  and  sometime  in 
great  worldly  wealth  also  :  in  this  case,  I  say,  this  thing, 
*  1  Pet,  v. 


that  he  needeth  not  to  suffer  this  trouble  and  pain  but  he 
will,  is  a  marvellous  great  occasion  for  him,  to  fall  into 
the  sin  that  the  devil  would  drive  him  to,  that  is  to  wit, 
the  forsaking  of  his  faith.  Arid  therefore  as  1  say,  of  all 
the  devil's  temptations  is  this  temptation,  this  persecution 
for  the  faith,  the  most  perilous. 

VINCENT. — The  more  perilous,  uncle,  that  this  tempta 
tion  is  (as  indeed  of  all  temptations  the  most  perilous  it 
is)  the  more  need  have  they  that  stand  in  peril  thereof, 
to  be  before  with  substantial  advice  and  good  counsel 
well  armed  against  it,  that  we  may  with  the  comfort  and 
consolation  thereof  the  better  bear  that  tribulation  when 
it  cometh,  and  the  better  withstand  the  temptation. 

ANTONY. — You  say,  cousin  Vincent,  therein  very  truth, 
and  I  am  content  to  fall  therefor  in  hand  therewith.  But 
forasmuch,  cousin,  as  methinketh,  that  of  this  tribulation 
somewhat  you  be  more  frail  than  I,  and  of  truth  some 
what  more  excusable  it  is  in  you,  than  it  were  in  me, 
my  age  considered,  and  the  sorrow  that  I  have  suffered 
already  with  some  other  considerations  on  my  part  beside : 
rehearse  you  therefore  the  griefs  and  pains  that  you 
think  in  this  tribulation  possible  to  fall  unto  you  :  and  I 
shall  against  each  of  them  give  you  counsel  and  rehearse 
you  such  occasion  of  comfort  and  consolation,  as  my  poor 
wit  and  learning  can  call  to  my  mind. 

VINCENT. — In  good  faith,  uncle,  I  am  not  all  thing 
afraid  in  this  case  only  for  myself,  but  well  you  wot  I 
have  cause  to  care  also  for  many  more,  and  that  folk  of 
sundry  sorts  men  and  women  both,  and  that  not  all  of 
one  age. 

ANTONY. — All  that  you  have  cause  to  fear  for,  cousin, 
for  all  them  have  I  cause  to  fear  with  you  too,  sith  all 
your  kinsfolks  and  allies  within  a  little  be  likewise  unto 

me.     Howbeit  to    say  the   truth,  every  man 
a  BOOK  rare  for    ,       .  •      Ai  •  r-         i     ,1     r      i  • 

ktnsfoifc  ano  hath  cause  in  this  case  to  tear,  both  for  him 
self  and  also  for  every  other.  For  sith,  as 
the  Scripture  saith,  Unicuique  dedit  Deus  curam  de 
proximo  suo, — God  hath  given  every  man  cure  and  charge 
of  his  neighbour/*  there  is  no  man  that  hath  any  spark 

*  Eccles.  xvii. 


of  Christian  love  and  charity  in  his  breast,  but  that  in  a 
matter  of  such  peril  as  this  is,  wherein  the  soul  of  man 
standeth  in  so  great  danger  to  be  lost,  he  must  needs  care 
and  take  thought,  not  for  his  friends  only,  but  also  for 
his  very  foes.     We  shall  therefore,  cousin,  not  ©  6oto  Cj,ari. 
rehearse  your  harms  or  mine  that  may  befall   tabipsaiD. 
in  this  persecution,  but  all   the  great  harms  in  general, 
as  near  as  we  can  call  to  mind,  that  may  hap  unto  any 

208  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 


ITH  a  man  is  made  of  the  body  and  the 
soul,  all  the  harm  that  any  man  may  take,  it 
must  needs  be  in  one  of  these  two;  either 
immediately,  or  by  the  mean  of  some  such 
thing  as  serveth  for  the  pleasure,  weal, 
or  commodity  of  the  one  of  these  two. 
As  for  the  soul,  first  we  shall  need  no  rehearsal  of  any 
harm,  that  by  this  kind  tribulation  may  attain  thereto  : 
but  if  that  by  some  inordinate  love  and  affection  that 
tffie  farm  of  tne  so"l  t>ear  to  tne  D°ciy>  she  consent  to 
tfcesoui.  slide  from  the  faith,  and  thereby  do  her  harm 

herself.  Now  remain  there  the  body,  and  these  outward 
things  of  fortune,  which  serve  for  the  maintenance  of  the 
body,  and  minister  matter  of  pleasure  to  the  soul  also, 
through  the  delight  that  she  hath  in  the  body,  for  the 
while  that  she  is  matched  therewith.  Consider  then  first 
the  loss  of  these  outward  things,  as  somewhat  the  less  in 
weight,  than  is  the  body  itself.  In  them  what  may  a 
man  lose,  and  thereby  what  pain  may  he  suffer? 
an  tfjese losses  VINCENT. — He  may  lose,  uncle  (of  which  I 
SeSluTe?  should  somewhat  lose  myself),  money,  plate, 
t»>H>-  and  other  moveable  substance.  Those  offices, 

authority,  and  finally  all  the  lands  of  his  inheritance  for 
ever,  that  himself  and  his  heirs  perpetually  might  else 
enjoy.  And  of  all  these  things,  uncle,  you  wot  well,  that 
myself  have  some,  little  in  respect  of  that  that  some 
other  have  here,  but  somewhat  more  yet,  than  he  that 
hath  most  here  would  be  well  content  to  lose.  Upon  the 
loss  of  these  things  follow  neediness  and  poverty,  the 
pain  of  lacking,  the  shame  of  begging  :  of  which  twain  I 
wot  not  well  which  is  the  most  wretched  necessity,  be- 


side  the  grief  and  heaviness  of  heart  in  beholding  good 
men  and  faithful,  and  his  dear  friends,  bewrapped  in  like 
misery,  and  ungracious  wretches  and  infidels,  and  his 
most  mortal  enemies,  enjoy  the  commodities  that  himself 
and  his  friends  have  lost.  Now  for  the  body  very  few 
words  shall  serve  us.  For  therein  I  see  none  other  harm 
but  loss  of  liberty,  labour,  imprisonment,  painful  and 
shameful  death. 

ANTONY.  —  There  needeth  not  much  more,  cousin,  as 
the  world  is  now.  For  I  fear  me  that  less  than  a  fourth  part 
of  this  will  make  many  a  man  so  stagger  in  his  faith,  and 
some  man  fall  quite  therefrom,  that  yet  at  this  day,  before 
he  come  to  the  proof,  weeneth  himself  that  he  $0totruets 
would  stand  very  fast.  And  I  beseech  our  tjistmunotn? 
Lord,  that  all  they  that  so  think,  and  would  yet,  when 
they  were  brought  to  the  point,  fall  therefrom  for  fear  or 
for  pain,  may  get  of  God  the  grace  to  ween  still  as  they 
do,  and  not  to  be  brought  to  the  assay,  where  pain  or  fear 
should  shew  them  then  (as  it  shewed  St.  Peter  *)  how  far 
they  be  deceived  now.  But  now,  cousin,  against  these 
terrible  things,  what  way  shall  we  take  in  giving  men 
counsel  or  comfort  ? 

If  the  faith  were  in  our  days  as  fervent  as  it  hath  been 
ere  this  in  times  past,  little  counsel  and  little        ftrt,fnt 
comfort  would  suffice.     We  should  not  much  faitij  of  oia 
need  with  words  and  reasoning  to  extenuate  t( 
and  minish  the  vigour  and  asperity  of  the  pains ;  but  the 
greater,  the  more  bitter  that  the   passion  were,  the  more 
ready  was  of  old  time  the  fervour  of  faith  to  suffer  it. 
And  surely,  cousin,  I  doubt  it  little  in  my  mind,  but  that 
if  a  man   had  in   his  heart  so  deep  a  desire   and  love, 
longing  to  be  with  God  in  heaven,  to  have  the  fruition  of 
his  glorious  face,  as  had  these  holy  men  that  were  mar 
tyrs  in  the  old  time,  he  would  no  more  now  stick  at  the 
pain  that  he  must  pass  between,  than  at  that  time  those 

old  holy  martyrs  did.      But  alas  !  our  faint  and 

/»    i  i      /.  •  i        •  i  i  /-iii  Kfie  faint  anu 

feeble  faith  with  our  love  to  God,  less  than  feeble  fattij 

lukewarm,  by  the  fiery  affection  that  we  bear  " 

to  our  own  filthy  flesh,  maketh  us  so  dull  in  the  desire  of 

*  Luc.  xxii. 


heaven  that  the  sudden  dread  of  every  bodily  pain 
woundeth  us  to  the  heart,  and  striketh  our  devotion  stark 
dead.  And  therefore  doth  there  every  man,  cousin  (as  I 
said  before),  much  the  more  need  to  think  upon  this  thing 
many  a  time  and  oft  aforehand,  ere  any  such  peril  fall  : 
and  by  much  devising  thereupon,  before  they  see  the 
cause  to  fear  it,  while  the  thing  shall  not  appear  so  terri 
ble  unto  them,  reason  shall  better  enter,  and  through 
grace  working  with  their  diligence,  engender  and  set 
sure,  not  a  sudden  slight  affection  of  suffrance  for  God's 
sake,  but  by  a  long  continuance  a  strong  deep-rooted 
habit,  not  like  a  reed  ready  to  wave  with  every  wind,  nor 
like  a  rootless  tree,  scant  set  up  on  end,  in  a  loose  heap  of 
light  sand,  that  will  with  a  blast  or  two  be  blown  down. 


OR  if  we  now  consider,  cousin,  these  causes 
of  terror  and  dread  that  you  have  recited, 
which  in  his  persecution  for  the  Faith  this 
midday  devil  may  by  these  Turks  rear 
against  us,  to  make  his  incursion  with  :  we 
shall  well  perceive,  weighing  them  well 
with  reason,  that  albeit  somewhat  they  be  indeed,  yet 
every  part  of  the  matter  pondered,  they  shall  well  appear 
in  conclusion  things  nothing  so  much  to  be  dread  and 
fled  from,  as  to  folk  at  the  first  sight  they  do  suddenly 



Of  the  loss  of  the  goods  of  fortune 

OR  first  to  begin  at  these  outward  goods, 
that  neither  are  the  proper  goods  of  the 
soul,  nor  of  the  body,  but  are  called  the 
goods  of  fortune,  that  serve  for  the  suste 
nance  and  commodity  of  man  for  the  short 
season  of  this  present  life,  as  worldly  sub 
stance,  offices,  honour,  and  authority,  what  fffie  flMte  0( 
great  good  is  there  in  these  things  of  themself,  fortune. 
for  which  they  were  worthy  so  much  as  to  bear  the  name, 
by  which  the  world  of  a  worldly  favour  customably  calleth 
them  ?  For  if  the  having  of  strength  make  a  man  strong, 
and  the  having  of  heat  make  a  man  hot,  and  the  having 
of  virtue  make  a  man  virtuous  :  how  can  these  things  be 
verily  and  truly  good,  which  he  that  hath  them,  may  by 
the  having  of  them  as  well  be  the  worse  as  the  better, 
and  (as  experience  proveth)  more  often  is  the  worse  than 
the  better  ?  When  should  a  good  man  greatly  rejoice  in 
that,  that  he  daily  seeth  most  abound  in  the  hands  of 
many  that  be  nought?  Do  not  now  this  great  asijat  great 
Turk  and  his  bassas  in  all  these  advancements  Ssr*oSmount 
of  fortune,  surmount  very  far  above  any  aloft  nom; 
Christian  estate,  and  any  lords  living  under  him?  And 
was  there  not  yet  hence  upon  a  twenty  year  ago,  the 
great  Soudan  of  Syria,  which  many  a  year  together  bare 
as  great  a  part  as  the  great  Turk,  and  after  in  one  sum 
mer  unto  the  great  Turk  that  whole  empire  was  lost  ? 
And  so  may  all  his  empire  now,  and  shall  hereafter  by 
r  2 


©ott  sena  once  God's  grace  be  lost  unto  Christian  men's 
tfjattas !  hands  likewise,  when  Christian  people  shall  be 
mended,  and  grow  into  God's  favour  again.  But  when 
that  whole  kingdom  and  mighty  great  empires  are  of  so 
little  surety  to  stand,  and  be  so  soon  translated  from  one 
man  unto  another;  what  great  thing  can  you  or  I,  yea, 
or  any  lord  the  greatest  in  this  land,  reckon  himself  to 
have  by  the  possession  of  an  heap  of  silver  or  gold,  white 
and  yellow  metal,  not  so  profitable  of  their  own  nature 
(save  for  a  little  glistering)  as  the  rude  rusty  metal  of 



Of  the  unsurety  of  lands  and  possessions. 

ANDS  and  possessions  many  men  yet  much 
more  esteem  than  money,  because  the  lands 
seem  not  so  casual  as  money  is  or  plate, 
for  that  though  their  other  substance  may 
be  stolen  and  taken  away,  yet  evermore 
they  think   that  their  land  will   lie   still 
where  it  lay.     But  what  are  we  the  better,  nan&  anu  pos- 
that  our  land  cannot  be  stirred,  but  will  lie  s 
still  where  it  lay,  while  ourself  may  be  removed,  and  not 
suffered  to  come  near  it  ?     What  great  difference  is  there 
to  us,  whether  our  substance  be  moveable  or  immoveable, 
sith  we  be  so  moveable  ourself,  that  we  may  be  removed 
from  them  both,  and  lose  them  both  twain,  saving  that 
sometime  in  the  money  is  the  surety  some-  mone8jettet 
what  more.    For  when  we  be  fain  ourself  to  flee,  tjan  lana  some* 
we  may  make  shift  to  carry  some  of  our  money  t 
with  us,  where  of  our  land  we  cannot  carry  one  inch.     If 
our  land  be  a  thing  of  more  surety  than  our  money,  how 
happeth  it  then,  that  in  this  persecution,  we  be  more  fraid 
to  lose  it  ?     For  if  it  be  a  thing  of  more  surety,  then  can  it 
not  soon  be  lost.     In  the  translation  of  these  two  great 
empires,  Greece  first,  sith  myself  was  born,  and  after, 
Syria,  since  you  were  born  too,  the  land  was  lost  before 
the  money  was  found. 

Oh  !  cousin  Vincent,  if  the  whole  world  were  a  ^  erficl(on 
animated  with  a  reasonable  soul,  as  Plato  had 
weened  it  were,  and  that  it  had  wit  and  understanding  to 


mark  and  perceive  all  thing :  Lord  God  !  how  the  ground, 
on  which  a  prince  buildeth  his  palace,  would  loud  laugh  his 
lord  to  scorn,  when  he  saw  him  proud  of  his  possession, 
and  heard  him  boast  himself  that  he  and  his  blood  are  for 
ever  the  very  lords  and  owners  of  that  land  !  For  then 
would  the  ground  think  the  while  in  himself:  Oh,  thou 
silly  poor  soul,  that  weenest  thou  were  half  a  god,  and 
art  amid  thy  glory  but  a  man  in  a  gay  gown :  I  that  am 
the  ground  here,  over  whom  thou  art  so  proud,  have  had 
an  hundred  such  owners  of  me  as  thou  callest  thyself, 
more  than  ever  thou  hast  heard  the  names  of.  And 
iLanaeD  men's  some  of  them  that  proudly  went  over  my  head, 
lie  now  low  in  my  belly,  and  my  side  lieth  over 
them :  and  many  one  shall,  as  thou  doest  now,  call  him 
self  mine  owner  after  thee,  that  neither  shall  be  sib  to  thy 
blood,  nor  any  word  bear  of  thy  name.  Who  aught  your 
castle,  cousin,  three  thousand  years  ago  ? 

VINCENT. — Three  thousand,  uncle  !  Nay,  nay,  in  any 
thing  Christian,  or  heathen,  you  may  strike  off  a  third 
part  of  that  well  enough,  and  as  far  as  I  ween  half  of  the 
remnant  too.  In  far  fewer  years  than  three  thousand  it 
may  well  fortune,  that  a  poor  ploughman's  blood  may 
come  up  to  a  kingdom,  and  a  king's  right  royal  kin  on 
5Tf)(s  cast  fwtf)  tne  otner  side  fall  down  to  the  plough  and 

fallen  to  some    cart:  and  neither  that  king  know  that  ever  he 
tings  antt  to  /.          .,  .,°  .  . 

manp  gentle*      came  from  the  cart,  nor  that  carter  know  that 

ever  he  came  from  the  crown. 

ANTONY. — We  find,  cousin  Vincent,  in  full  authentic 
stories,  many  strange  chances  as  marvellous  as  that, 
come  about  in  the  compass  of  very  few  years  in  effect. 
And  be  such  things  then  in  reason  so  greatly  to  be  set 
by,  that  we  should  esteem  the  loss  so  great,  when  we  see 
that  in  the  keeping  our  surety  is  so  little? 

VINCENT.— Marry,  uncle,  but  the  less  surety  that  we 
have  to  keep  it,  sith  it  is  a  great  commodity  to  have  it, 
the  fearder  by  so  much,  and  the  more  loth  we  be  to 
forego  it. 

ANTONY.— That  reason  shall  I,  cousin,  turn  against 
yourself.  For  if  it  be  so,  as  you  say,  that  sith  the  things 
be  commodious,  the  less  surety  that  you  see  you  have  of 


the  keeping,  the  more  cause  you  have  to  be  afraid  of  the 
losing ;  then  on  the  other  side,  the  more  that  a  thing  is 
of  his  nature  such,  that  the  commodity  thereof  bringeth  a 
man  little  surety,  and  much  fear,  that  thing  of  reason  the 
less  have  we  cause  to  love.  And  then  the  less  cause  that 
we  have  to  love  a  thing,  the  less  cause  have  we  to  care 
therefor,  or  fear  the  loss  thereof,  or  be  loth  to  go  there 


These  outward  goods  or  gifts  of  fortune  are  two  manner 
ivise  to  be  considered. 

;E  shall  yet,  cousin,  consider  in  these  out 
ward  goods  of  fortune,  as  riches,  good 
name,  honest  estimation,  honourable  fame 
and  authority  :  in  all  these  things  we  shall, 
I  say,  consider,  that  either  we  love  them 
and  set  by  them,  as  by  things  commodious 
unto  us  for  the  state  and  condition  of  this  present  life,  or 
else  as  things  that  we  purpose  by  the  good  use  thereof  to 
make  them  matter  of  our  merit  with  God's  help  in  the 
life  after  to  come.  Let  us  then  first  consider  them  as 
things  set  by  and  beloved  for  the  pleasure  and  commodity 
of  them  for  this  present  life. 

216  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 


The  little  commodity  of  riches  being  set  by,  but  for  this 
present  life. 

>OW  riches  loved  and  set  by  for  such,  if  we 
consider  it  well,  the  commodity  that  we 
take  thereof  is  not  so  great,  as  our  own 
fond    affection   and    phantasy  maketh  us 
imagine  it.     It  maketh  us,  I  say  not  nay, 
go  much  more  gay  and  glorious  in  sight, 
©a  a   arci       garmsned    with    silk,    but    cloth   is    within    a 
little   as   warm.     It   maketh    us  'have    great 
plenty  of  many  kind  of  delicate  and  delicious  victual, 
and  thereby  to  make  more  excess.     But  less  exquisite, 

Delicate  fare  anc*  ^6SS  suPerfluous  fare>  with  fewer  surfeits 
and  fewer  fevers  growing  thereon  to,  were 
within  a  little  as  wholesome.  Then  the  labour  in  the 
getting,  the  fear  in  the  keeping,  the  pain  in  the  parting 
from,  do  more  than  counterpoise  a  great  part  of  all  the 
pleasure  and  commodity  that  they  bring.  Besides  this, 
the  riches  is  the  thing  that  taketh  many  times  from  his 
master,  all  his  pleasure  and  his  life  too.  For  many  a  man 
is  for  his  riches  slain,  and  some  that  keep  their  riches  as 
a  thing  pleasant  and  commodious  for  their  life,  take  none 
other  pleasure  in  a  manner  thereof  in  all  their  life,  than 
as  though  they  bare  the  key  of  another  man's  coffer,  and 
rather  are  content  to  live  in  neediness  miserably  all  their 
Barters  an&  days,  than  they  could  find  in  their  heart  to 
Diners  of  mones.  minish  their  hoard,  they  have  such  phantasy 
to  look  thereon.  Yea  and  some  men  for  fear  lest  thieves 



should  steal  it  from  them,  be  their  own  thieves  and  steal 
it  from  themself,  while  they  dare  not  so  much  as  let  it  lie 
where  themself  may  look  thereon,  but  put  it  in  a  pot,  and 
hide  it  in  the  ground,  and  there  let  it  lie  safe  till  they  die, 
and  sometime  seven  year  after.  From  which  place  if  the 
pot  had  been  stolen  *away  five  year  before  his  death,  all 
the  same  five  year  that  he  lived  after,  weening  alway  that 
his  pot  lay  safe  still,  what  had  he  been  the  poorer,  while 
he  never  occupied  it  after  ? 

VINCENT. — By  my  troth,  uncle,  not  one   penny,  for 
aught  that  I  perceive. 

218  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 


The  little  commodity  of  fame  being  desired  but  for  worldly 

NTON  Y. — LET  us  now  consider  good  name, 
honest  estimation,  and  honourable  fame. 
For  these  three  things  are  of  their  own 
nature  one,  and  take  their  difference,  in 
effect,  but  of  the  manner  of  the  common 
speech  in  diversity  of  degrees.  For  a  good 
a  BOOO  name,  name  may  a  man  have,  be  he  never  so  poor. 
honest  estima-  Honest  estimation  in  the  common  taking  of 
*'on-  the  people  belongeth  not  unto  any  man  but  him 

that  is  taken  for  one  of  some  countenance  and  behaviour, 
and  among  his  neighbours  had  in  some  reputation.  In 
honourable  the  word  of  honourable  fame,  folk  conceive 
fame.  ^he  renown  of  great  estates,  much  and  far 

spoken  of  by  reason  of  their  laudable  acres.  Now  all 
this  gear  used  as  a  thing  pleasant  and  commodious  for  this 
present  life,  pleasant  it  may  seem  to  him  that  fasteneth 
his  phantasy  therein,  but  of  the  nature  of  the  thing  itself, 
I  perceive  no  great  commodity  that  it  hath.  I  say,  of 
the  nature  of  the  thing  itself;  because  it  may  be  by  chance 
some  occasion  of  commodity,  as  if  it  hap  that  for  the  good 
name  the  poor  man  hath,  as  for  the  honest  estimation 
that  a  man  of  some  haviour  and  substance  standeth 
in  among  his  neighbours,  or  for  the  honourable  fame 
wherewith  the  great  estate  is  renowned,  if  it  hap,  I  say, 
that  any  man  bearing  them  better,  will  therefore  do  them 
therefor  any  good.  And  yet  as  for  that,  like  as  it  may 
sometime  so  hap  (and  sometime  so  happeth  it  indeed)  so 


may  it  hap  sometime  on  the  other  side  (and  on  the  other 
side  so  it  sometime  happeth  indeed)  that  such  folk  are 
of  some  other  envied  and  hated,  and  as  readily  ffinftp  antt  5ate 
by  them  that  envy  them  and  hate  them  take  folloto  imt- 
harm,  as  they  take  by  them  that  love  them,  good. 

But  now  to  speak  of  the  thing  itself  in  his  own  proper 
nature,  what  is  it  but  a  blast  of  another  man's  mouth,  as 
soon  passed,  as  spoken  ?     Whereupon  he  that  setteth  his 
delight,  feedeth  himself  but  with  wind,  whereof  be  he 
never  so  full,  he  hath  little  substance  therein :  and  many 
times  shall  he  much  deceive  himself.     For  he  shall  ween 
that  many  praise  him,  that  never  speak  word  of  him,  and 
they  that  do,  say  yet  much  less  than  he  weeneth,  and  far 
more  seldom  too.     For  they  spend  not  all  the  day,  he  may 
be  sure,  in  talking  of  him  alone,  and  whoso  commend 
him  most,  will  yet,   I   ween,  in  every  four  and  twenty 
hours,  wink  and  forget  him  at  once.     Besides  this,  that 
while  one  talketh  well  of  him  in  one  place,  another  sitteth 
and  sayeth  as  shrewdly  of  him  in  another ;  and  finally  some 
that  most  praise  him  in   his  presence,  behind  his  back 
mock  him  as  fast,  and  loud  laugh  him  to  scorn,  and  some 
time  slily  to  his  own  face  too.     And  yet  are  there  some 
fools  so  fed  with  this  fond  phantasy  of  fame,  ©j,  fljoriaus 
that  they  rejoice  and  glory  to  think  how  they  fools- 
be  continually  praised  all  about,  as  though  all  the  world 
did  nothing  else  day  nor  night  but  ever  sit  and  sing, 
SanctuSj  sanctus,  sanctus,  upon  them. 




Of  Flattery. 

ND  unto  this  pleasant  phrenzy  of  much 
foolish  vain-glory,  be  there  some  men 
brought  sometime  by  such  as  themselves 
do  in  a  manner  hire  to  flatter  them ;  and 
would  not  be  content  if  a  man  should  do 
otherwise,  but  would  be  right  angry,  not 
only  if  a  man  told  them  truth  when  they  do  nought 
indeed,  but  also  if  they  praise  it  but  slenderly. 

VINCENT. — Forsooth,  uncle,  this  is  very  truth.  I  have 
been  ere  this,  not  very  long  ago,  where  I  saw  so  proper 
experience  of  this  point,  that  I  must  stop  your  tale  for  so 
long,  while  I  tell  you  mine. 

ANTONY. — I  pray  you,  cousin,  tell  on. 
VINCENT. — When  I  was  first  in  Almaine,  uncle,  it 
a  notable  et-  naPPed  me  to  be  somewhat  favoured  with  a 
ample  of  flat-  great  man  of  the  church,  and  a  great  state, 
one  of  the  greatest  in  all  that  country  there. 
And  indeed  whosoever  might  spend  as  much  as  he  might 
in  one  thing  and  other,  were  a  right  great  state  in  any 
country  of  Christendom.  But  glorious  was  he  very  far 
above  all  measure,  and  that  was  great  pity,  for  it  did 
harm,  and  made  him  abuse  many  great  gifts  that  God 
had  given  him.  Never  was  he  satiate  of  hearing  his  own 
praise.  So  happed  it  one  day,  that  he  had  in  a  great  au 
dience,  made  an  oration  in  a  certain  manner,  wherein  he 
liked  himself  so  well,  that  at  his  dinner  he  sat  him 
thought  on  thorns,  till  he  might  hear  how  they  that  sat 


with  him  at  his  board,  would  commend  it.  And  when  he 
had  sitten  musing  a  while,  devising  (as  I  thought  after) 
on  some  pretty  proper  way,  to  bring  it  in  withal ;  at  last, 
for  lack  of  a  better  (lest  he  should  have  letted  the  matter 
too  long)  he  brought  it  even  bluntly  forth,  and  asked  us  all 
that  set  at  his  board's  end  (for  at  his  own  mess  in  the 
midst  there  set  but  himself  alone),  how  well  we  liked  his 
oration  that  he  had  made  that  day.  But  in  faith,  uncle, 
when  that  problem  was  once  proposed,  till  it  was  full 
answered,  no  man  I  ween  eat  one  morsel  of  meat  more  : 
every  man  was  fallen  in  so  deep  a  study,  for  the  finding 
of  some  exquisite  praise.  For  he  that  should  have 
brought  out  but  a  vulgar  and  common  commendation, 
would  have  thought  himself  shamed  for  ever. 

Then  said  we  our  sentences  by  row  as  we  sat,  from  the 
lowest  unto  the  highest  in  good  order,  as  it  had  been  a 
great   matter  of  the   common   weal   in   a  right  solemn 
council.     When  it  came  to  my  part  (I  will  not  say  it  for 
no  boast,  uncle),  methought,  by  our  Lady  !  for  my  part 
I  quit  myself  pretty  well.     And  I  liked  myself  the  better, 
because  methought  my  words  (being  but  a  stranger)  went 
yet  with  some  grace  in  the  Almaine  tongue,  wherein,  letting 
my  Latin  alone,  me  listed  to  shew  my  cunning.     And  I 
hoped  to  be  liked  the  better,  because  I  saw  that  he  that 
sat  next  me,  and  should  say  his  sentence  after  me,  was  an 
unlearned  priest :  for  he  could  speak  no  Latin  at  all.    But 
when  he  came  forth  for  his  part  with  my  lord's  commen 
dation,  the  wily  fox  had  been  so  well  accus-  Batters  accus 
tomed  in  court  with  the  craft  of  flattery,  that  tomclj  tncourt- 
he  went  beyond  me  too  far.     And  then  might  I  see  by 
him,  what  excellency  a  right  mean  wit  may  come  to  in 
one  craft,  that  in  all  his  whole  life  studieth  and  busieth 
his  wit  about  no  more  but  that  one.     But  I  made  after  a 
solemn  vow  to  myself,  that  if  ever  he  and  I  were  matched 
together  at  that  board  again,  when  we  should  fall  to  our 
flattery  I  would  flatter  in  Latin,  that  he  should  not  con 
tend  with  me  no  more.     For  though  I  could  be  content 
to  be  outrun  of  a  horse,  yet  would  I  no  more  abide  it  to 
be  outrun  of  an  ass.     But,  uncle,  here  began  now  the 
game :  he  that  sat  highest,  and  was  to  speak  the  last, 


was  a  great  beneficed  man,  and  not  a  doctor  only,  but 
also  somewhat  learned  indeed  in  the  laws  of  the  church.  A 
world  it  was  to  see,  how  he  marked  every  man's  word  that 
spake  before  him,  and  it  seemed  that  every  word,  the 
more  proper  that  it  was  the  worse  he  liked  it,  for  the 
cumbrance  that  he  had  to  study  out  a  better  to  pass  it. 
The  man  even  sweat  with  the  labour,  so  that  he  was  fain 
in  the  while  now  and  then  to  wipe  his  face.  Howbeit  in 
conclusion,  when  it  came  to  his  course,  we  that  had 
spoken  before  him,  had  so  taken  all  up  among  us  before, 
that  we  had  not  left  him  one  wise  word  to  speak  after. 

ANTONY. — Alas  !  good  man,  among  so  many  of  you, 
some  good  fellow  should  have  lent  him  one. 

VINCENT. — It  needed  not,  as  hap  was,  uncle,  for  he 
found  out  such  a  shift,  that  in  his  flattering  he  passed  us 
all  the  many. 

ANTONY. — Why,  what  said  he,  cousin? 

VINCENT. — By  our  Lady  !  uncle,  not  one  word.  But 
like,  as  I  trow,  Plinius  telleth,*  that  when  Timanthes,  the 
painter,  in  the  table  that  he  painted  of  the  sacrifice  and 
the  death  of  Iphigenia,  had  in  the  making  of  the  sorrow 
ful  countenances  of  the  other  noblemen  of  Greece  that 
beheld  it,  spent  out  so  much  of  his  craft  and  his  cunning, 
that  when  he  came  to  make  the  countenance  of  king 
Agamemnon  her  father,  which  he  reserved  for  the  last, 
lest  if  he  had  made  his  visage  before,  he  must  in  some  of 
the  other  after,  either  have  made  the  visage  less  dolorous 
than  he  could,  and  thereby  have  forborne  some  part  of 
his  praise,  or  doing  the  uttermost  of  his  craft,  might  have 
happed  to  make  some  other  look  more  heavily  for  the 
pity  of  her  pain  than  her  own  father,  which  had  been  yet 
a  far  greater  fault  in  his  painting,  when  he  come,  I  say, 
to  the  making  of  his  face  therefore  last  of  all,  he  could 
devise  no  manner  of  new  heavy  cheer  and  countenance 
for  her  father,  but  that  he  had  made  there  already  in 
some  of  the  other  a  much  more  heavy  before,  and  therefore 
to  the  intent  that  no  man  should  see  what  manner  coun 
tenance  it  was  that  her  father  had,  the  painter  was  fain  to 
paint  him,  holding  his  face  in  his  handkercher :  the  like 
•  Natural.  Hist.  lib.  35,  cap.  10. 


pageant  in  a  manner  played  us  here  this  good  ancient 
honourable  flatterer.     For  when  he  saw  that  he 
could  find  no  word  of  praise  that  would  pass  assemJfen  to 
all  that  had  been  spoken  before  already,  the  patnUnB' 
wily  fox  would  speak  never   a   word,  but   as  he  were 
ravished  unto  heavenward  with  the  wonder  of  the  wisdom 
and  eloquence  that  my  lord's  grace  had  uttered  in  that 
oration,  he  fet  a  long  sigh  with  an  oh  !  from  the  bottom 
of  his  breast,  and  held  up  both  his  hands,  and  lifted  up 
his  head,  and  cast  both  his  eyes  up  into  the  welkin,  and 

ANTONY. — Forsooth,  cousin,  he  played  his  part  very 
properly.  But  was  that  great  prelate's  oration  any  thing 
praiseworthy  ?  For  you  can  tell,  I  see,  well.  For  you 
would  not,  I  ween,  play  as  Juvenal*  merrily  describeth 
the  blind  senator,  one  of  the  flatterers  of  Tiberius  the 
emperor,  that  among  the  remnant  so  magnified  the  great 
fish  that  the  emperor  had  sent  for  them  to  shew  them, 
which  this  blind  senator  (Montanus,  I  trow, 
they  called  him),  marvelled  of  as  much  as  any 
that  marvelled  most :  and  many  things  he  spake  thereof, 
with  some  of  his  words  directed  thereunto,  looking  him 
self  toward  the  left  side,  while  the  fish  lay  on  his  right 
side :  you  would  not,  I  trow,  cousin,  have  taken  upon 
you  to  praise  it  so,  but  if  you  had  heard  it. 

VINCENT. — I  heard  it,  uncle,  indeed,  and  to  say  the 
truth  it  was  not  to  dispraise.  Howbeit  surely  somewhat 
less  praise  might  have  served  it,  by  more  a  great  deal  than 
the  half.  But  this  am  I  sure,  had  it  been  the  worst  that 
ever  was  made,  the  praise  had  not  been  the  less  of  one 
here.  For  they  that  used  to  praise  him  to  his  face,  never 
considered  how  much  the  thing  deserved,  but  how  great 
a  laud  and  praise  themself  could  give  his  good  grace. 

ANTONY. — Surely,  cousin,  as  Terence  saith,f  such  folks 
make  men  of  fools  even  stark  mad,  and  much  cause  have 
their  lords  to  be  right  angry  with  them. 

VINCENT. — God  hath  indeed,  and  is,  I  ween  :  but  as 
for  their  lords,  uncle,  if  they  would  after  wax  angry  with 
them  therefor,  they  should  in  my  mind  do  them  very  great 
*  Satyr.  4.  -f  In  Eunucho. 


wrong,  when  it  is  one  of  the  things  that  they  specially 
dHattews  Kept  keeP  tnem  f°r-  For  those  that  are  of  such 
anttfeftfortije  vainglorious  mind  (be  they  lords,  or  be  they 
meaner  men)  can  be  much  better  content  to 
have  their  devices  commended,  then  amended  ;  and  re 
quire  they  their  servants  and  their  friend  never  so  spe 
cially  to  tell  them  the  very  truth,  yet  shall  he  better 
please  them  if  he  speak  them  fair,  than  if  he  tell  them 
truth.  For  they  be  in  the  case  that  Martial  speaketh  of, 
in  an  epigram  unto  a  friend  of  his  that  required  his  judg 
ment,  how  he  liked  his  verses,  but  he  prayed  him  in  any 
wise,  to  tell  him  even  the  very  truth.  To  whom  Martial  * 
made  answer  in  this  wise : — 

"  The  very  truth  of  me  thou  dost  require. 
The  very  truth  is  this,  my  friend  dear, 
The  very  truth  thou  wouldst  not  gladly  hear." 

And  in  good  faith,  uncle,  the  selfsame  prelate  that  I  told 
you  my  tale  of,  I  dare  be  bold  to  swear  it  (I  know  it  so 
surely)  had  on  a  time  made  of  his  own  drawing  a  certain 
another  treaty,  that  should  serve  for  a  league  between  that 
country  and  a  great  prince.  In  which  treaty, 
himself  thought  that  he  had  devised  his  articles  so  wisely, 
and  indited  them  so  well,  that  all  the  world  would  allow 
them.  Whereupon  longing  sore  to  be  praised,  he  called 
unto  him  a  friend  of  his,  a  man  well  learned,  and  of  good 
worship,  and  very  well  expert  in  those  matters,  as  he  that 
had  been  divers  times  ambassador  for  that  country,  and 
had  made  many  such  treaties  himself.  When  he  took 
him  the  treaty,  and  that  he  had  read  it,  he  asked  him 
how  he  liked  it,  and  said :  But  I  pray  you  heartily  tell 
me  the  very  truth.  And  that  he  spake  so  heartily,  that 
the  tother  had  weened  he  would  fain  have  heard  the  truth, 
and  in  trust  thereof  he  told  him  a  fault  therein.  At  the 
hearing  whereof,  he  swore  in  great  anger,  By  the  mass  ! 
thou  art  a  very  fool.  The  other  afterward  told  me,  that 
he  would  never  tell  him  truth  again. 

ANTONY. — Without  question,  cousin,  I  cannot  greatly 
blame  him:    and  thus  themself  make  every  man  mock 
*  Martialis,  lib.  8,  ad  Gallicum. 


them,  flatter  them,  and  deceive  them  :  those,  I  say,  that 
are  of  such  vainglorious  mind.     For  if  they  be  content  to 
bear  the  truth,  let  them  then  make  much  of  those  that  tell 
them  the  truth,  and  withdraw  their  care  from  them  that 
falsely  flatter  them,  and  they  shall  be  more  truly  served 
than  with   twenty  requests,    praying  men  to  tell  them 
truth.     King  Ladislaus,  our  Lord    assoil  his 
soul,  used  much  this  manner  among  his  ser-      att : 
vants.     When  any  of  them  praised  any  deed  of  his,  or 
any  condition  in  him,  if  he  perceived  that  they  said  but 
the  truth,  he  would  let  it  pass  by  uncontrolled.     But 
when   he  saw  that  they  set  to  a  gloss  upon  it  for  his 
praise  of  their  own  making  beside,  then  would  he  shortly 
say  unto  them  :    "  I   pray  thee,  good  fellow,  when  thou 
ssiyest  grace  at   my  board,  never  bring  in  Gloria  Patri 
without  a  sicut  erat ;  that  is  to  wit,  even  as  it  ^iovta?atrt 
was,  and  none  otherwise  :  and  lift  me  not  up   umo  a  sicut 
with  no  lies,  for  I  love  it  not."     If  men  would  ei 
use  this  way  with  them,  that  this  noble  king  used,  it 
would  minish  much  of  their  false  flattery. 

I  can  well  allow,  that  men  should  commend  (keeping 
them  within  the  bounds  of  truth)  such  things  &atofui  prats- 
as  they  see  praiseworthy  in  other  men,  to  give  tnfl> 
them  the  greater  courage  to  the  increase  thereof.  For  men 
keep  still  in  that  point  one  condition  of  children,  that  praise 
must  prick  them  forth  ;  but  better  it  were  to  do  well,  and 
look  for  none.  Howbeit,  they  that  cannot  find  in  their 
heart  to  commend  another  man's  good  deed,  shew  themself 
either  envious,  or  else  of  nature  very  cold  and  dull.  But 
out  of  question,  he  that  putteth  his  pleasure  in  the  praise 
of  the  people  hath  but  a  fond  phantasy.  For  if  his  finger 
do  but  ache  of  an  hot  blain,  a  great  many  men's  mouths 
blowing  out  his  praise,  will  scantly  do  him  among  them 
all  half  so  much  ease,  as  to  have  one  little  boy  to  blow 
upon  his  finger. 

226  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 


The  little  commodity  that  men  have  of  rooms,  offices,  and 
authority,  if  they  desire  them  but  for  their  worldly 

ET  us  now  consider  in  likewise,  what  great 
worldly  wealth  ariseth  unto  men  by  great 
offices,  rooms,  and  authority :  to  those 
worldly-disposed  people,  I  say  that  desire 
them  for  no  better  purpose.  For  of  them 
that  desire  them  for  better,  we  shall  speak 
after  anon.  The  great  thing  that  they  chief 
like  all  therein,  is  that  they  may  bear  a  rule, 
command  and  control  other  men,  and  live  uncommanded 
and  uncontrolled  themself.  And  yet  this  commodity  took  I 
so  little  heed  of,  that  I  never  was  ware  it  was  so  great,  till  a 
a  men-stale  g°°d  friend  of  ours  merrily  told  me  once,  that 
his  wife  once  in  a  great  anger  taught  it  him. 
For  when  her  husband  had  no  list  to  grow  greatly  upward 
in  the  world,  nor  neither  would  labour  for  office  of 
authority,  and  over  that  forsook  a  right  worshipful  room 
when  it  was  offered  him,  she  fell  in  hand  with  him  (he  told 
me)  and  all  to  rated  him,  and  asked  him ;  "  What  will  you 
do,  that  you  list  not  to  put  forth  yourself,  as  other  folks 
do?  Will  you  sit  still  by  the  fire,  and  make  goslings 
in  the  ashes  with  a  stick,  as  children  do?  Would  God 
I  were  a  man,  and  look  what  I  would  do  !  "  "  Why, 
wife,"  quoth  her  husband,  "  what  would  you  do  ? " 
"What?  By  God!  go  forward  with  the  best  of  them. 
For,  as  my  mother  was  wont  to  say  (God  have  mercy  on 


her  soul !)  it  is  ever  better  to  rule,  than  to  be  ruled.    And 
therefore  by  God  !   I  would  not,  I  warrant  you,  ®&mtw,  loot 
be  so  foolish  to  be  ruled  where  I  might  rule."  rule- 
"  By   my  troth,   wife,"   quoth  her  husband,   "  in  this,  I 
dare  say,  you  say  truth.     For  I  never  found  you  willing 
to  be  ruled  yet." 

VINCENT. — Well,  uncle,   I  wot  where  you  be  now  well 
enough.     She  is  indeed  a  stout  master  woman: 
and  in  good  faith  for  aught  that  I  can  see,   tunccB  tut 
even  that  same  womanish  mind  of  hers  is  the  toomanis^ 
greatest  commodity  that  men  reckon  upon,  in  rooms  and 
offices  of  authority. 

ANTONY. — By  my  troth  and  inethinketh  very  few  there 
are  of  them  that  attain  any  great  commodity  therein. 
For  first  there  is  in  every  kingdom  but  one  that  can  have 
an  office  of  such  authority,  that  no  man  may  command 
him  or  control  him.  No  officer  can  there  crrommanuer's 
stand  in  that  case,  but  the  king  himself,  which  common wcs. 
only  uncontrolled  or  uncommanded,  may  control  and 
command  all.  Now  of  all  the  remnant,  each  is  under 
him  :  and  yet  beside  him  almost  every  one  is  under  more 
commanders  and  comptrollers  too,  than  one.  And  some 
man  that  is  in  a  great  office,  commandeth  fewer  things 
and  less  labour  to  many  men  that  are  under  him,  than 
some  one,  that  is  over  him,  commandeth  him  alone. 

VINCENT. — Yet  it  doth  them  good,  uncle,  that  men 
must  make  courtesy  to  them,  and  salute  them  with  reve 
rence,  and  stand  barehead  before  him,  or  to  some  of  them 
kneel  peradventure  too. 

ANTONY. — Well,  cousin,  in  some  part  they  do  but  play 
at  gleek,  receive  reverence,  and  to  their  cost  pay  honour 
again  therefor.  For  except,  as  1  said,  only  a  king, 
the  greatest  in  authority  under  him,  receiveth  not  so 
much  reverence  of  no  man,  as  according  to  reason  himself 
doth  honour  to  him.  Nor  twenty  men's  courtesies  do 
him  not  so  much  pleasure  as  his  own  once  kneeling  doth 
him  pain,  if  his  knee  hap  to  be  sore.  And  1  wist  once  a 
great  officer  of  the  king's  say  (and  in  good  faith,  I  ween, 
he  said  but  as  he  thought)  that  twenty  men  standing 
barehead  before  him,  kept  not  his  head  half  so  warm,  as  to 

228  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 

keep  on  his  own  cap.  Nor  he  never  took  so  much  ease 
with  their  being  barehead  before  him,  as  he  caught  once 
grief  with  a  cough  that  came  upon  him,  by  standing  bare- 
head  long  before  the  king. 

But  let  it  be,  that  these  commodities  be  somewhat  such 
as  they  be,  yet  then  consider  whether  that  any  incommo- 
OTojnmanUEts'  dities  be  so  joined  therewith,  that  a  man  were 
tncommoufttes.  almost  as  good  lack  both,  as  have  both. 
Goeth  all  thing  evermore  as  every  one  of  them  would  have 
it  ?  That  were  as  hard  as  to  please  all  the  people  at  once 
with  one  weather,  while  in  one  house  the  husband  would 
have  fair  weather  for  his  corn,  and  his  wife  would  have 
rain  for  her  leeks.  So  while  they  that  are  in  authority  be 
not  all  evermore  of  one  mind,  but  sometime  variance 
among  them,  either  for  the  respect  of  profit,  or  for  con 
tention  of  rule,  or  for  maintenance  of  matters,  sundry 
parts  for  their  sundry  friends  :  it  cannot  be  that  both  the 
parts  can  have  their  own  mind,  nor  often  are  they  con 
tent  which  see  their  conclusion  quail,  but  ten  times  they 
take  the  missing  of  their  mind  more  displeasantly  than 
other  poor  men  do.  And  this  goeth  not  only  to  men  of 
mean  authority,  but  unto  the  very  greatest.  The  princes 
themself  cannot  have,  you  wot  well,  all  their  will.  For 
how  were  it  possible,  while  each  of  them  almost  would,  if 
he  might,  be  lord  over  the  remnant?  Then  many  men 
under  their  princes  in  authority  are  in  the  case,  that  privy 
$rtbp  mauce  tn  malice  and  envy  many  bear  them  in  heart,  that 
courts.  falsely  speak  them  fair,  and  praise  them  with 

their  mouths,  which  when  there  happeth  any  great  fall 
unto  them,  bawl,  and  bark,  and  bite  upon  them  like  dogs. 

Finally,  the  cost  and  charge,  the  danger  and  peril  of 

war,  wherein  their  part  is  more  than  a  poor  man's  is,  sith 

the  matter  more  dependeth  upon  them,  and  many  a  poor 

ploughman  may  sit  still  by  the  fire,  while  they  must  rise 

and    walk.      And    sometime   their    authority   falleth    by 

change  of  their  master's  mind  :  and  of  that  see  we  daily 

in  one  place  or  other  ensamples  such,  and  so  many,  that 

princes- set-    ^ie  ParaD^e  °f  the  philosopher  can   lack  no 

uants  te  tut    testimony,  which  likened  the  servants  of  ^reat 

counters.  J  .  ,  &     , 

princes  unto  the  counters  with  which  men  do 


cast  a  count.     For  like  as  the  counter  that  standeth  some 
time  for  a  farthing,  is  suddenly  set  up  and  standeth  for  a 
thousand  pound,  arid  after  as  soon  set  down,  and  eftsoon 
beneath  to  stand  for  a  farthing  again :  so  fareth  it,  lo ! 
sometime  with  those  that  seek  the  way  to  rise  and  grow 
up  in  authority,  by  the  favour  of  great  princes,      m^  is  up 
that  as  they  rise  up  high,  so  fall  down  again  as     aiottnotn? 

Howbeit,  though  a  man  escape  all  such  adventures,  and 
abide  in  great  authority  till  he  die,  yet  then  at  the  least 
wise  every  man  must  leave  at  the  last :  and  that  which 
we  call  at  last,  hath  no  very  long  time  to  it.  Let  a  man 
reckon  his  years  that  are  passed  of  his  age,  ere  ever  he 
can  get  up  aloft ;  and  let  him  when  he  hath  it  a  Sttre  recfeon, 
first  in  his  fist,  reckon  how  long  he  shall  be  ins- 
like  to  live  after,  and  I  ween,  that  then  the  most  part  shall 
have  little  cause  to  rejoice,  they  shall  see  the  time  likely 
to  be  so  short  that  their  honour  and  authority  by  na 
ture  shall  endure,  beside  the  manifold  chances  whereby 
they  may  lose  it  more  soon.  And  then  when  they  see 
that  they  must  needs  leave  it,  the  thing  which  they  did 
much  more  set  their  heart  upon,  than  ever  they  had  rea 
sonable  cause  :  what  sorrow  they  take  therefor,  that  shall 
I  not  need  to  tell  you. 

And  thus  itseemeth  unto  me,  cousin,  in  good  faith,  that 
sith  in  the  having  the  profit  is  not  great,  and  the  displea 
sures  neither  small  nor  few,  and  of  the  losing  so  many 
sundry  chances,  and  that  by  no  mean  a  man  can  keep  it 
long,  and  that  to  part  therefrom  is  such  a  painful  grief:  I 
can  see  no  very  great  cause,  for  which,  as  an  high  worldly 
commodity,  men  should  greatly  desire  it. 

230  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 


That  these  outward  goods  desired  but  for  worldly  wealth, 
be  not  only  little  good  for  the  body,  but  are  also  much 
harm  for  the  soul. 

ND  thus  far  have  we  considered  hitherto, 
in  these  outward  goods  that  are  called  the 
gifts  of  fortune,  no  farther  but  the  slender 
commodity  that  worldly-minded  men  have 
by  them.  But  now  if  we  consider  farther 
what  harm  to  the  soul  they  take  by  them 
that  desire  them  but  only  for  the  wretched  wealth  of  this 
world :  then  shall  we  well  perceive,  how  far  more  happy 
is  he  that  well  loseth  them,  than  he  that  evil  findeth  them. 

These  things  though  they  be  such,  as  are  of  their  own 
nature  indifferent,  that  is  to  wit,  of  themself,  things 
neither  good  nor  bad,  but  are  matter  that  may  serve  to 
the  one  or  the  other,  after  as  men  will  use  them  :  yet 
need  we  little  to  doubt  it,  but  that  they  that  desire  them 
but  for  their  worldly  pleasure,  and  for  no  farther  godly 
purpose,  the  devil  shall  soon  turn  them  from  things  indif 
ferent  unto  them,  and  make  them  things  very  nought.  For 
n  g  itrtfffe.  though  that  they  be  indifferent  of  their  nature, 
rent  tc  not  so  yet  cannot  the  use  of  them  lightly  stand  indif 
ferent,  but  determinately  must  either  be  good 
or  bad.  And  therefore  he  that  desireth  them  but  for 
worldly  pleasure,  desireth  them  not  for  any  good.  And 
for  better  purpose  than  he  desireth  them,  to  better  use  is 
he  not  likely  to  put  them :  and  therefore  not  unto  good, 
but  consequently  to  naught. 


As  for  ensample,  first  consider  it  in  riches :  he  that 
longeth  for  them,  as  for  things  of  temporal  commodity, 
and  not  for  any  godly  purpose,  what  good  they  shall  do 
him  St.  Paul  declareth,  where  he  writeth  unto  Timothy  : — 
Qui  volant  divites  fieri,  incidunt  in  tentationem,  et  in  la- 
queum  diaboli,  et  desideria  multa  inutilia  et  nociva,  qu(B 
mergunt  homines  in  interitum  et  perditionem, — They  that 
long  to  be  rich,  fall  into  temptation,  and  into  the  grin  of  the 
devil,  and  into  many  desires  unprofitable  and  noyous,  which 
drown  men  into  death  and  perdition.*  And  the  Holy 
Scripture  saith  also  in  the  book  of  the  Proverbs :  Qui 
congregat  thesauros,  impingetur  ad  laqueos  mortis, — He 
that  gathereth  treasure,  shall  be  shoved  into  the  grins  of 
death.f  So  that  whereas  by  the  mouth  of  St.  Paul  God 
saith,  that  they  shall  fall  into  the  devil's  grin,  he  saith  in 
the  tother  place,  that  they  shall  be  pushed  and  shoved  in 
by  violence.  And  of  truth,  while  a  man  desireth  riches 
not  for  any  good  godly  purpose,  but  for  only  worldly 
wealth,  it  must  needs  be,  that  he  shall  have  little  con 
science  in  the  getting,  but  by  all  evil  ways  that  he  can 
invent,  shall  labour  to  get  them.  And  then  shall  he 
either  niggardly  heap  them  up  together,  which  is  (you 
wot  well)  damnable,  or  wastefully  misspend  them  about 
worldly  pomp,  pride,  and  gluttony,  with  occasion  of  many 
sins  more,  and  that  is  yet  much  more  damnable. 

As  for  fame  and  glory  desired  but  for  worldly  pleasure, 
doth  unto  the  soul  inestimable  harm.     For  that  setteth 
men's  hearts  upon  high  devices  and  desires  of  such  things 
as  are  imm'oderate  and  outrageous,  and  by  the  help  of 
false  flatteries  puff  up  a  man  in  pride,  and  make  a  brittle 
man  lately  made  of  earth,  and  that  shall  again  shortly  be 
laid  full  low  in  earth,  and  there  lie  and  rot, 
and  turn  again  into  earth,  take  himself  in  the  carttji/poas 
meantime  for  a  god  here  upon  earth,  and  ween  noto' 
to  win  himself  to  be  lord  of  all  the  earth.     This  maketh 
battles  between  these  great  princes,  and  with  cfjerootof 
much  trouble  to  much  people  and  great  effu-  toars- 
sion  of  blood,  one  king  to  look  to  reign  in  five  realms,  that 
cannot  well  rule  one.     For  how  many  hath  now  this  great 
*  1  Tim.  vi.  t  Cap.  xxi. 

232  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 

Turk,  and  yet  aspireth  to  more?     And  those  that  he  hath, 
he  ordereth  evil,  and  yet  himself  worse. 

These  offices  and  rooms  of  authority,  if  men  desire  them 

only  for  their  worldly  phantasies,  who  can  look  that  ever 

they  shall  occupy  them  well,  but  abuse  their  authority, 

and  do  thereby   great  hurt?     For  then  shall  they  fall 

from  indifferency,  and   maintain   false  matters  of  their 

searing  ana    friends,  bear  up  their  servants  and   such  as 

ioistennu.      depend  upon  them,  with  bearing  down  of  other 

innocent  folk,  not  so  able  to  do  hurt,  as  easy  to  take 


Then  the  laws  that  are  made  aainst  male 

factors  shall  they  make  as  an  old  philosopher 
said,  to  be  much  like  unto  cobwebs,  in  which  the  little 
gnats  and  flies  stick  still  and  hang  fast,  but  the  great 
bumble  bees  break  them  and  fly  quite  through.  And 
then  the  laws  that  are  made  as  a  buckler  in  the  defence 
of  innocents,  those  shall  they  make  serve  for  a  sword  to 
cut  and  sore  wound  them  with,  and  therewith  wound  they 
their  own  souls  sorer.  And  thus  you  see,  cousin,  that  of 
all  these  outward  goods,  which  men  call  the  goods  of  for 
tune,  there  is  never  one  that  unto  them  which  long  there 
for,  not  for  any  godly  purpose  but  only  for  their  worldly 
wealth,  hath  any  great  commodity  to  the  body,  and  yet 
are  they  all  in  such  case  (besides  that)  very  deadly  destruc 
tion  unto  the  soul. 



Whether  men  desire  these  outward  goods  for  their  only 
worldly  wealth,  or  for  any  good  virtuous  purpose,  this 
persecution  of  the  Turk  against  the  faith  will  declare, 
and  the  comfort  that  both  twain  may  take  in  the  losing 
them  thus. 

INCENT.— VERILY,  good  uncle,  tin's  thing 
is  so  plainly  true,  that  no  man   may  with 
any   good   reason    deny   it,    and    I   ween, 
uncle,  also,  that  there  will  be  no  man  say 
nay.     For  I  see  no  man  that  will  for  very 
shame    confess,   that    he   desireth    riches, 
honour,  and  renown,  offices  and  rooms  of  authority,  for 
his  own  worldly  pleasure.    For  every  man  would  fain  seem 
as  holy  as  a  horse.     And  therefore  will  every 
man  say,  and  would  it  were  so  believed  too,      tDomosecm 
that  he  desireth  these  things  (though  for  his      *ols> 
worldly  wealth  a  little  so)  yet  principally  to  merit  thereby 
through  doing  some  good  therewith. 

ANTONY. — This  is,  cousin,  very  sure  so,  that  so  doth 
every  man  say.     But  first  he  that  in  the  desire  thereof 
hath   his   respect   therein    unto    his  worldly  wealth    (as 
you  say)  but  a  little  so,  so  much  (as  himself 
weeneth  were  but  a  little)  may  soon  prove  a    Vers  tm' 
great  deal  too  much.      And  many  men  will  say  so  too, 
that  have  indeed  their  principal  respect  unto  their  worldly 
commodity,  and  unto  godward  therein  little  or  nothing 
at  all.     And  yet  they  pretend  the  contrary,  and  that  unto 
their  own  harm,  Quia  Deus  non  irridetury — God  cannot 

234  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 

be  mocked.*  And  some  peradventure  know  not  well 
their  own  affection  themself,  but  there  lieth  more  imper 
fection  secrete  in  their  affection  than  themself  are  well 
ware  of,  which  only  God  beholdeth.  And  therefore  saith 
the  prophet  unto  God,  Imperfectum  meum  viderunt  oculi 
tui, — Mine  imperfection  have  thine  eyes  beholden. *f*  For 
which  the  prophet  prayeth,  Ab  occultis  meis  munda  me, 
Domine,  —  From  my  hid  sins  cleanse  thou  me,  good 

But  now,  cousin,  this  tribulation  of  the  Turk,  if  he  so 
persecute  us  for  the  faith,  that  those  that  will  forsake  their 
faith  shall  keep  their  goods,  and  those  shall  lose  their 
goods  that  will  not  leave  their  faith  :  this  manner  of  per- 
$ crsfcution  is  secution,  lo,  shall  like  a  touchstone  try  them, 
a  touchstone.  and  g|iew  ^  fejgne(j  from  the  true-minded, 

and  teach  also  them,  that  ween  they  mean  better  than 
they  do  indeed,  better  to  discern  themself.  For  some 
there  are  that  ween  they  mean  well,  while  they  frame 
themself  a  conscience,  and  ever  keep  still  a  great  heap  of 
superfluous  substance  by  them,  thinking  ever  still  that 
they  will  bethink  themself  upon  some  good  deed,  whereon 
they  will  well  bestow  it  once,  or  else  their  executors 
shall.  But  now  if  they  lie  not  unto  themself,  but  keep 
their  goods  for  any  good  purpose  to  the  pleasure  of  God 
indeed,  then  shall  they  in  this  persecution  for  the  plea 
sure  of  God,  in  the  keeping  of  his  faith,  be  glad  to  depart 
from  them. 

And  therefore  as  for  all  those  things,  the  loss,  I  mean, 
of  all  those  outward  things  that  men  call  the  gifts  of  for 
tune,  this  is  methinketh  in  this  Turk's  persecution  for  the 
faith,  consolation  great  and  sufficient,  that  sith  every 
man  that  hath  them,  either  setteth  by  them  for  the  world 
or  for  God  :  he  that  setteth  by  them  for  the  world  hath 
(as  I  have  shewed  you)  little  profit  by  them  to  the  body, 
and  great  harm  unto  the  soul  ;  and  therefore  may  well, 
srote  tfjiscom-  if  ne  be  wise,  reckon  that  he  winneth  by  the 
fort  loss,  although  he  lost  them  but  by  some  com 

mon  chance ;  and  much  more  happy  then,  while  he  loseth 
them  by  such  a  meritorious  mean. 

*  Gal,  vi.  f  Psal.  cxxxviii.  J  Ibidem,  xviii. 


And  on  the  tother  side,  he  that  keepeth  them  for  some 
good  purpose,  intending  to  bestow  them  for  the  pleasure 
of  God,  the  loss  of  them  in  this  Turk's  persecution  for 
keeping  of  the  faith,  can  be  no  manner  grief  unto  him ; 
sith  that  by  his  so  parting  from  them,  he  bestoweth  them 
in  such  wise  unto  God's  pleasure,  that  at  that  time  when 
he  loseth  them,  by  no  way  could  he  bestow  them  unto 
his  high  pleasure  better.  For  though  it  had  been  peradven- 
ture  better  to  have  bestowed  them  well  before,  yet  sith  he 
kept  them  for  some  good  purpose,  he  would  not  have  left 
them  unbestowed  if  he  had  forknown  the  chance.  But 
being  now  prevented  so  by  persecution,  that  he  cannot 
bestow  them  in  that  other  good  way  that  he  would,  yet 
while  he  parteth  from  them  because  he  will  not  part  from 
the  faith,  though  the  devil's  escheator  vio-  ^  BeMl>g  ?gj 
lently  take  them  from  him,  yet  willingly  he  creators. 
giveth  them  to  God. 

236  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 


Another  cause,  for  which  any  man  should  be  content  to 
forego  his  goods  in  the  Turk's  said  persecution. 

INCENT.— I  CANNOT  in  good  faith,  uncle, 
say  nay  to  none  of  this.  Arid  indeed  unto 
them  that  by  the  Turk's  overrunning  of  the 
country  were  happed  to  be  spoiled  and 
robbed,  and  all  their  substance,  moveable 
and  unmoveable,  bereft  and  lost  already, 
their  persons  only  fled  and  safe  :  I  think  that  these  con 
siderations  (considered  therewith  that,  as  you  lately  said, 
their  sorrow  could  not  amend  their  chance)  might  unto 
them  be  good  occasion  of  comfort,  and  cause  them,  as 
you  said,  to  make  a  virtue  of  necessity.  But  in  the  case, 
uncle,  that  we  now  speak  of,  that  is  to  wit,  where  they 
have  yet  their  substance  untouched  in  their  own  hands, 
and  that  the  keeping  or  the  losing  shall  hang  both  in 
their  own  hands  by  the  Turk's  offer  upon  the  retaining  or 
renouncing  of  the  Christian  faith  :  here,  uncle,  I  find  it, 
as  you  said,  that  this  temptation  is  most  sore  and  most 
^etosucfi  perilous.  For  I  fear  me  that  we  shall  find 
fountt,  ti)E  more  few  (of  such  as  have  much  to  lose)  that  shall 
find  in  their  hearts  so  suddenly  to  forsake  their 
goods  with  all  those  other  things  afore  rehearsed,  where 
upon  all  their  worldly  wealth  dependeth. 

ANTONY. — That  fear  I  much,  cousin,  too.  But  thereby 
shall  it  well,  as  I  said,  appear,  that  seemed  they  never  so 
good  and  virtuous  before,  and  flattered  they  themself 
with  never  so  gay  a  gloss  of  good  and  gracious  purpose 


that  they  kept  their  goods   for,  yet  were  their  hearts 
inwardly  in  the  deep  sight  of  God,  not  sound  and  sure, 
such  as  they  should  be,  and  as  peradventure  <80&'s  stg&t 
some   had   themself  weened    they  had   been,   pt««tim«p' 
but  like  a  purse-ring  of  Paris,  hollow,  light,  and  counter 
feit  indeed.     And  yet  they  being  such,  this  would  I  fain 
ask  one  of  them,  and  I  pray  you,  cousin,  take  you  his 
person  upon  you,  and  in  this  case  answer  for  him;  what 
letteth,  would  I  ask  you  (for  we  will  take  no  small  man 
for  a  sample  in  this  part,  nor  him  that  had  little  to  lose, 
for  such   one  were  methink  so  far  from  all  fame,  that 
would  cast  away  God  for  a  little,  that  he  were  $et  $oto  mani, 
not  worthy  to  talk  with),  what  letteth  I  say   sucti  are  note, 
therefore  your  lordship,  that  you   be  not  gladly  content, 
without  any  deliberation  at  all,  in  this  kind  of  persecu 
tion,  rather  than  to  leave  your  faith,  to  let  go  all  that 
ever  you  have  at  once  ? 

VINCENT. — Sith  you  put  it,  uncle,  unto  me :  to  make 
the  matter  more  plain,  that  I  should  play  that  great 
man's  part  that  is  so  wealthy,  and  hath  so  much  to  lose; 
albeit  I  cannot  be  very  sure  of  another  man's  mind,  nor 
what  another  man  would  say,  yet  as  far  as  my  own  mind 
can  conjecture,  I  shall  answer  in  his  person  what  I  ween 
would  be  his  let.  And  therefore  to  your  question  I  answer, 
that  there  letteth  me  the  thing  that  yourself  may  lightly 
guess,  the  losing  of  the  manifold  commodities  which  1  now 
have :  riches  and  substance,  lands  and  great  possessions  of 
inheritance,  with  great  rule  and  authority  here  in  my 
country.  All  which  things  the  great  Turk  granteth  me  to 
keep  still  in  peace,  and  have  them  enhanced  too,  so  that 
I  will  forsake  the  faith  of  Christ.  Yea,  I  may  say  to  you, 
I  have  a  motion  secretly  made  me  farther,  to  {t 

keep  all  this  yet  better  cheap,  that  is  to  wit,  ttccvse)  also 
not  be  compelled  utterly  to  forsake  Christ,  nor  n 
all  the  whole  Christian  faith,  but  only  some  such  parts 
thereof,  as  may  not  stand  with  Mahomet's  law,  and  only 

f ranting  Mahomet  for  a  true  prophet,  and   serving  the 
urk  truly  in  his  wars  against  all  Christian  kings,  I  shall 
not  be  letted  to  praise  Christ  also,  and  to  call  him  a  good 
man,  and  worship  him  and  serve  him  too. 


ANTONY. — Nay,  nay,  ray  lord,  Christ  hath  not  so  great 
need  of  your  lordship,  as  rather  than  to  lose  your  service, 

he  would  fall  at  such  covenants  with  you,  to 
©oU  s  sermce          -,  -.11  i  •  -i 

Boetijnotat       take  your  service  at  halves,  to  serve  him  and 

his  enemy  both.  He  hath  given  you  plain 
warning  already  by  St.  Paul,  that  he  will  have  in  your 
service  no  parting  fellow.  Quce  societas  lucis  ad  tene- 
bras?  Quce  autem  conventio  Christi  ad  Belial? — What 
fellowship  is  there  between  light  and  darkness,  between 
Christ  and  Belial  ?  *  And  he  hath  also  plainly  shewed 
you  himself  by  his  own  mouth :  Nemo  potest  duobus 
dominis  servire  ; — No  man  may  serve  two  lords  at  once.f 
He  will  have  you  believe  all  that  he  telleth  you,  and  do 
all  that  he  biddeth  you,  and  forbear  all  that  he  forbiddeth 
you,  without  any  manner  exception.  Break  one  of  his 
commandments,  and  break  all.  Forsake  one  point  of  his 
faith,  and  forsake  all,  as  for  any  thank  you  get  for  the 
remnant.  And  therefore  if  you  devise  as  it  were  inden- 
inotntures  tures  between  God  and  you,  what  thing  you 
toitD  ffion.  win  do  for  him,  and  what  thing  you  will  not 
do,  as  though  he  should  hold  him  content  with  such 
service  of  yours,  as  yourself  list  to  appoint  him :  if  you 
make,  I  say,  such  indentures,  you  shall  seal  both  the 
parts  yourself,  and  you  get  thereto  none  agreement  of 
him.  And  this  I  say  though  the  Turk  would  make  such 
an  appointment  with  you  as  you  speak  of,  and  would 
when  he  had  made  it,  keep  it,  whereas  he  would  not,  I 
warrant  you,  leave  you  so,  when  he  had  brought  you  so 
an&  fia&e  ifjej?  far  forth,  but  would  little  and  little  after  ere  he 
not  Done  so?  jeft  vou>  make  you  jeny  Christ  altogether,  and 
take  Mahomet  in  his  stead.  And  so  doth  he  in  the 
beginning,  when  he  will  not  have  you  believe  him  to  be 
God.  For  surely  if  he  were  not  God,  he  were  no  good 
man  neither,  while  he  plainly  said  he  was  God.  But 
though  he  would  never  go  so  far  forth  with  you,  yet  Christ 
will  (as  I  said)  not  take  your  service  to  halves,  but  will 
that  you  should  love  him  with  all  your  whole  heart.  And 
because  that  while  he  was  living  here  fifteen  hundred 
year  ago,  he  foresaw  this  rnind  of  yours  that  you  have 
*  2  Cor.  vi.  f  Luc.  vi. 


now,  with  which  you  would  fain  serve  him  in  some  such 
fashion,  as  you  might  keep  your  worldly  substance  still, 
and  rather  forsake  his  service,  than  put  all  your  substance 
from  you :  he  telleth  you  plain  fifteen  hundred  year  ago  his 
own  mouth,  that  he  will  no  such  service  of  you,  saying, 
Nonpotestis  Deo  servire,  et  Mammonce, — You  cannot  serve 
both  God  and  your  riches  together.* 

And  therefore  this  thing  stablished  for  a  plain  conclu 
sion,  which  you  must  needs  grant,  if  you  have  faith,  (and 
if  you  be  gone  from  that  ground  of  faith  already  then  is  all 
your  disputation,  you  wot  well,  at  an  end.  For  whereto 
should  you  then  rather  lose  your  goods  than  forsake  your 
faith,  if  you  have  lost  your  faith  and  let  it  go  already  ?)  this 
point,  I  say  therefore,  put  first  for  a  ground  between  us 
both  twain  agreed,  that  you  have  yet  the  faith  still,  and 
intend  to  keep  it  alway  still  in  your  heart,  and  are  but  in 
doubt,  whether  you  will  lose  all  your  worldly  substance 
rather  than  forsake  your  faith  in  your  only  word :  now 
shall  I  reply  to  the  point  of  your  answer,  wherein  you  tell 
me  the  loathness  of  the  loss,  and  the  comfort  of  the 
keeping  letteth  you  to  forego  them,  and  moveth  you 
rather  to  forsake  your  faith.  I  let  pass  all  that  I  have 
spoken  of  the  small  commodity  of  them  unto  your  body, 
and  of  the  great  harm  that  the  having  of  them  doth  to 
your  soul.  And  sith  the  promise  of  the  Turk,  made  unto 
you  for  the  keeping  of  them,  is  the  thing  that  moveth  you 
and  raaketh  you  thus  to  doubt,  I  ask  you  first,  whereby 
you  wot  that  when  you  have  done  all  that  he  will  have 
you  do  against  Christ  to  the  harm  of  your  soul,  whereby 
wot  you,  1  say,  that  he  will  keep  you  his  promise  in  these 
things  that  he  promiseth  you,  concerning  the  retaining  of 
your  well-beloved  worldly  wealth  for  the  pleasure  of  your 

VINCENT. — What  surety  can  a  man  have  of  such  a  great 
prince  but  his  promise,  which  for  his  own  honour  it 
cannot  become  him  to  break  ? 

ANTONY. — I  have  known  him,  and  his  father  before 
him  too,  break  more  promises   than  five,  as 
great  as  this  is  that  he  should  here  make  with 
*  Matth.  vi. 

240  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 

you.  Who  shall  come  and  cast  it  in  his  teeth,  and  tell 
him  it  is  a  shame  for  him  to  be  so  fickle  and  so  false  of 
his  promise  ?  And  then  what  careth  he  for  those  words, 
that  he  wotteth  well  he  shall  never  hear?  Not  very 
much,  although  they  were  told  him  to.  If  you  might 
come  after  and  complain  your  grief  unto  his  own  person 
yourself,  you  should  find  him  as  shamefast  as  a  friend  of 
mine  (a  merchant)  found  once  the  Soudan  of  Syria,  to 
whom  (being  certain  years  about  his  merchandise  in  that 
faorc  suco  country)  he  gave  a  great  sum  of  money  for  a 
£ou&ans  note,  certain  office  meet  for  him  there  for  the  while, 
which  he  scant  had  granted  him  and  put  in  his  hand,  but 
that  ere  ever  it  were  ought  worth  unto  him  the  Soudan 
suddenly  sold  it  to  another  of  his  own  sect,  and  put  our 
Hungarian  out.  Then  came  he  to  him,  and  humbly  put 
him  in  remembrance  of  his  grant  passed  his  own  mouth 
and  signed  with  his  own  hand.  Whereunto  the  Soudan 
answered  him  with  a  grim  countenance  :  "  I  will  thou  wit 
it,  losel,  that  neither  my  mouth  nor  my  hand  shall  be 
master  over  me,  to  bind  all  my  body  at  their  pleasure,  but 
I  will  so  be  lord  and  master  over  them  both,  that  what 
soever  the  one  say,  or  the  other  wit,  I  will  be  at  mine  own 

.    liberty  to  do   what  me  list  myself,  and   ask 
Suet)  lorOs  ana  J ,     , ,  ,  A      ,    Al  J     f 

masters  lie         them   both  no  leave.     And  therefore  go  get 

thee  hence  out  of  my  countries,  knave."  Ween 
you  now,  my  lord,  that  Soudan  and  this  Turk,  being  both 
of  one  false  sect,  you  may  not  find  them  both  like  false  of 
their  promise? 

VINCENT. — That  must  I  needs  jeopard,  for  other  surety 
can  there  none  be  had. 

ANTONY.  —  An   unwise  jeoparding,   to  put 

an  untotsc  \to-  your  soul  in  peril  of  damnation  for  the  keep- 
parUing  to  trust  r  n  ,r  ,.,  ,  1-^1 

Kurfctsij  pro=     ing  or  your  bodily  pleasures,  and  yet  without 

surety  thereof  must  jeopard  them  too.  But 
yet  go  a  little  farther,  lo ;  suppose  me  that  ye  might  be 
very  sure,  that  the  Turk  would  break  no  promise  with 
you  :  are  you  then  sure  enough  to  retain  all  your  substance 
still  ? 

VINCENT. — Yea,  then. 

ANTONY. — What  if  a  man  should  ask  you,  how  long? 


VINCENT.— How  long  ?     As  long  as  I  live. 

ANTONY. — Well,  let  it  be  so  then.  But  yet  as  far  as 
I  can  see,  though  the  great  Turk  favour  you  never  so 
much,  and  let  you  keep  your  goods  as  long  as  ever  you 
live,  yet  if  it  hap,  that  you  be  at  this  day  fifty  year  old, 
all  the  favour  that  he  can  shew  you  cannot  make  you  one 
day  younger  to-morrow,  but  every  day  shall  you  wax 
older  than  other.  And  then  within  a  while  must  you,  for 
all  his  favour,  lose  all. 

VINCENT. — Well,  a  man  would  be  dad  for  _ 
11  ,.          ,1  i     i       i  «i    t     i?      i          **  fl^at  reason 

all  that,  to  be  sure  not  to  lack  while  he  liveth.       tnttti  most  men 

ANTONY.— Well  then,  if  the  great  Turk  give  noto- 
you  your  good,  can  there  then  in  all  your  life  no  other 
take  them  from  you  again  ? 

VINCENT. — Verily,  I  suppose,  no. 

ANTONY. — May  he  not  lose  this  country  again  unto 
Christian  men,  and  you  with  the  taking  of  this  way  fall 
in  the  same  peril  then,  that  you  would  now  eschew  ? 

VINCENT. — Forsooth,  I  think,  that  if  he  get  it  once,  he 
will  never  after  lose  it  again  in  our  days. 

ANTONY. — Yes,  by  God's  grace  :  but  yet  if  he  lose  it 
after  your  days,  there  goeth  your  children's  inheritance 
away  again.  But  be  it  now  that  he  could  never  lose  it, ; 
could  none  take  your  substance  from  you  then  ? 

VINCENT. — No,  in  good  faith,  none. 

ANTONY.— No  ?     None  at  all  ?     Not  God  ? 

VINCENT. — God  ?  What,  yes,  pardie :  who  doubteth  of 

ANTONY. — Who?  Marry  he  that  doubteth  whether 
there  be  any  God,  or  no.  And  that  there  lacketh  not 
some  such  the  prophet  testifieth,  where  he  saith :  Dixit 
insipiens  in  corde  suo,  non  est  Deus, — The  fool  hath  said 
in  his  heart,  there  is  no  God.*  With  the  mouth  the 
most  foolish  will  forbear  to  say  it  unto  other  folk,  but  in 
the  heart  they  let  not  to  say  it  softly  to  themself.  And 
I  fear  me  there  be  many  more  such  fools  than  mms  fte  sucj, 
every  man  would  ween  there  were,  and  would  foo{s- 
not  let  to  say  it  openly  too,  if  they  forbore  it  not  more  for 
dread  of  shame  of  men,  than  for  any  fear  of  God. 

*  Psal.  xiii.  et  xxxii. 

242  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 

But  now  those  that  are  so  frantic  foolish  as  to  ween 
there  were  no  God,  and  yet  in  their  words  confess  him 
(though  that  as  Paul  saith,*  in  their  deeds  they  deny 
him)  we  shall  let  them  pass,  till  it  please  God  to  shew 
himself  unto  them,  either  inwardly  betime,  by  his  merci- 
©oosfietoEtf)  ^  grace>  or  e^se  outwardly  (but  over  late  for 
imnseifttoo  them)  by  this  terrible  judgment.  But  unto 
you,  my  lord,  sith  you  believe  and  confess  (like 
as  a  wise  man  should)  that  though  the  Turk  keep  you 
promise  in  letting  you  keep  your  substance,  because  you 
do  him  pleasure  in  the  forsaking  of  your  faith  ;  yet  God 
(whose  faith  you  forsake,  and  therein  do  him  displeasure) 
may  so  take  them  from  you,  that  the  great  Turk  with  all 
the  power  he  hath,  is  not  able  to  keep  you :  then  why 
will  you  be  so  unwise,  with  the  loss  of  your  soul  to  please 
the  great  Turk  for  your  goods,  while  you  wot  well,  that 
God,  whom  you  displease  therewith,  may  take  them  from 
you  too  ? 

Beside  this,  sith  you  believe  there  is  a  God,  you  cannot 
but  believe  therewith,  that  the  great  Turk  cannot  take 
your  good  from  you  without  his  will  or  sufferance,  no  more 
than  the  devil  could  from  Job.  And  think  you  then,  that 
if  he  will  suffer  the  Turk  take  away  your  good,  albeit  that 
by  the  keeping  and  confessing  of  his  faith  you  please  him ; 
he  will  when  you  displease  him  by  forsaking  his  faith, 
suffer  you  of  those  goods  that  you  get  or  keep,  thereby  to 
rejoice  and  enjoy  any  benefit? 

VINCENT. — God  is  gracious,  and  though  that  men  offend 
him,  yet  he  suffereth  them  many  times  to  live  in  pros 
perity  long  after. 

ANTONY. — Long  after?  Nay  by  my  troth,  my  lord, 
that  doth  he  no  man.  For  how  can  that  be,  that  he 
should  suffer  you  live  in  prosperity  long  after,  when  your 
whole  life  is  but  short  in  all  together,  and  either  almost 
half  thereof,  or  more  than  half  (you  think  yourself,  t 
dare  say),  spent  out  already  before?  Can  you  burn 
Cfits  iKe  ts  Kite  out  half  a  short  candle,  and  then  have  a  long 
a  siiott  canme.  one  left  of  the  remnant  ?  There  cannot  in  this 
world  be  a  worse  mind,  than  a  man  to  delight  and  take 

*  Titumi. 


comfort  in  any  commodity  that  he  taketh  by  sinful  mean. 
For  it  is  very  straight  way  toward  the  taking  of  boldness 
and  courage  in  sin,  and  finally  to  fall  into  infidelity,  and 
think  that  God  careth  not  nor  regardeth  not  what  thing 
men  do  here,  nor  what  mind  we  be  of.  But,  unto  such 
minded  folk  speaketh  Holy  Scripture  in  this  wise ;  Noli 
dicere,  peccavi,  et  nihil  mihi  accidit  tristl :  patiens  enim 
redditor  est  Dominm, — Say  not,  I  have  sinned,  and  yet 
hath  happed  me  no  harm :  for  God  suffereth  before  he 
strike.*  But,  as  St.  Austin  saith,  the  longer  that  he  tar- 
rieth  ere  he  strike,  the  sorer  is  the  stroke  when  he 
striketh.  And  therefore  if  ye  will  well  do,  reckon  your 
self  very  sure,  that  when  you  deadly  displease  God  for  the 
getting  or  the  keeping  of  your  good,  God  shall  not  suffer 
those  goods  to  do  you  good,  but  either  shall  he  take  them 
shortly  from  you,  or  suffer  you  to  keep  them  for  a  little 
while  to  your  more  harm :  and  after  shall  he,  when  you 
east  look  therefor,  take  you  away  from  them.  And  then 
what  an  heap  of  heaviness  will  there  enter  into  &  $eap  of 
your  heart,  when  you  shall  see  that  you  shall  so  i)?abmess. 
suddenly  go  from  your  goods  and  leave  them  here  in  the 
earth  in  one  place,  and  that  your  body  shall  be  put  in  the 
earth  in  another  place  :  and  (which  then  shall  be  most 
heaviness  of  all)  when  you  shall  fear  (and  not  without 
great  cause)  that  your  soul  shall  first  forthwith,  and  after 
that  (at  the  final  judgment)  your  body  too,  be  driven 
down  deep  toward  the  centre  of  the  earth  into  the  fiery 
pit  and  dungeon  of  the  devil  of  hell,  there  to  tarry  in  tor 
ment  world  without  end  ?  What  goods  of  this  world  can 
any  man  imagine,  whereof  the  pleasure  and  commodity 
could  be  such  in  a  thousand  year,  as  were  able  to  recom 
pense  that  intolerable  pain  that  there  is  to  be  suffered  in 
one  year,  yea  in  one  day  or  in  one  hour  either  ?  And  then 
what  a  madness  is  it,  for  the  poor  pleasure  of  your  worldly 
goods  of  so  few  years,  to  cast  yourself  both  body  and 
soul  into  the  everlasting  fire  of  hell,  whereof  is  not 
minished  the  mountenance  of  a  moment  by  the  lying  there 
the  space  of  an  hundred  thousand  years  !  And  therefore 
our  Saviour  in  few  words  concluded  and  confuted  all 
*  Eccles.  v. 
B  2 

244  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 

these  follies  of  them,  that  for  the  short  use  of  this  worldly 
substance  forsake  him  and  his  faith,  and  sell  their  souls 
unto  the  devil  for  ever,  where  he  saith  :  Quid  prodest 
homini,  si  universum  mundum  lucretur,  animce  vero  suce 
detrimentum  patiatur? — What  availeth  it  a  man,  if  he 
won  all  the  whole  world,  and  lost  his  soul  ?  *  This  were, 
methinketh,  cause  and  occasion  enough  to  him  that  had 
never  so  much  part  of  this  world  in  his  hand,  to  be 
content  rather  to  lose  it  all,  than  for  the  retaining  or 
increasing  of  his  worldly  goods,  to  lose  and  destroy  his 

VINCENT. — This  is,  good  uncle,  in  good  faith  very  true, 
and  what  other  thing  any  of  them  (that  would  not  for  this 
be  content)  have  for  to  allege  in  reason  for  the  defence  of 
their  folly,  that  can  I  not  imagine,  nor  list  not  in  this 
matter  to  play  their  part  no  longer.  But  I  pray  God 
give  me  the  grace  to  play  the  contrary  part  indeed,  and 
that  I  never  for  any  goods  or  substance  of  this  wretched 
world,  forsake  my  faith  toward  God,  neither  in  heart,  nor 
tongue,  as  I  trust  in  his  great  goodness  I  never  shall. 

*  Matth.  xvi.,  Marc,  viii.,  Luc.  ix. 



This  kind  of  Tribulation  trieth  what  mind  men  have  to 
their  goods,  which  they  that  are  wise  will  at  the  fame 
thereof  see  well  and  wisely  laid  up  safe  before. 

NTONY.  —  METHINKETH,  cousin,  that  this 
persecution  shall  not  only,  as  I  said  before, 
try  men's  hearts  when  it  cometh,  and 
make  them  know  their  own  affections, 
whether  they  have  a  corrupt,  greedy,  co 
vetous  mind,  or  not :  but  also  the  very 
fame  and  expectation  thereof  may  teach  them  this  lesson, 
ere  ever  the  thing  fall  upon  them  itself,  to  their  no  little 
fruit,  if  they  have  the  wit  and  the  grace  to  take  it  in  time 
while  they  may.  For  now  may  they  find  sure  places  to 
lay  their  treasures  in,  so  that  all  the  Turk's  army  shall 
never  find  it  out. 

VINCENT. — Marry,  uncle,  that  way  they  will,  I  warrant 
you,  not  forget,  as  near  as  their  wits  will  serve  them. 
But  yet  have  I  known  some,  that  have  ere  this  thought  that 
they  had  hid  their  money  safe  and  sure  enough,  digging 
full  deep  in  the  ground,  and  have  missed  it  yet  when 
they  came  again,  and  have  found  it  digged  out,  and  car 
ried  away  to  their  hands. 

ANTONY. — Nay,  from  their  hands,  I  ween  you  would 
say.  And  it  was  no  marvel.  For  some  such  have  I 
known  too,  but  they  have  hid  their  goods  foolishly,  in 
such  places  as  they  were  well  warned  before  that  they 
should  not.  And  that  were  they  warned  by  him,  that 
they  well  knew  for  such  one,  as  wist  well  enough  what 
would  come  thereon. 

VINCENT. — Then  were  they  more  than  mad.     But  did 


he  tell  them  too,  where  they  should  have  hid  it  to  have  it 

ANTONY. — Yea,  by  St.  Mary,  did  he.  For  else  had  he 
told  them  but  half  a  tale.  But  he  told  them  a  whole  tale, 
bidding  them,  that  they  should  in  no  wise  hide  their  trea 
sure  in  the  ground.  And  he  shewed  them  a  good  cause : 
for  there  thieves  use  to  dig  it  out,  and  steal  it  away. 

VINCENT. — Why,  where  should  they  hide  it  then,  said 
he  ?  For  thieves  may  hap  to  find  it  out  in  any  place. 

ANTONY. — Forsooth  he  counselled  them  to  hide  their 
treasure  in  heaven,  and  there  lay  it  up,  for  there  it  shall 
©nip  true  men  lie  safe.  For  thither  he  said  there  can  no  thief 
come  to  ijeanen.  come)  till  he  have  left  his  theft  and  be  waxen 
a  true  man  first.  And  he  that  gave  this  counsel,  wist 
what  he  said  well  enough.  For  it  was  our  Saviour  him 
self,  which  in  the  Gospel  of  St.  Matthew  saith :  Nollte 
thesaurare  vobis  thesauros  in  terray  ubi  cerugo  et  tinea 
demolitur,  et  ubi  fares  effodiunt  etfurantur.  Thesaurizate 
autem  vobis  thesauros  in  ccelo,  ubi  neque  aerugo,  neque  tinea 
demolitur,  et  ubi  fures  non  effodiunt  nee  furantur.  Ubi 
enim  est  thesaurus  tuus,  ibi  est  et  cor  tuum: — Hoard  not  up 
for  you  treasures  in  earth,  where  the  rust  and  the  moth 
fret  it  out,  and  where  the  thieves  dig  it  out,  and  steal  it 
away.  But  hoard  up  your  treasures  in  heaven,  where 
neither  the  rust  nor  the  moth  fret  them  out,  and  where 
thieves  dig  them  not  out,  nor  steal  them  away.  For 
where  as  is  thy  treasure,  there  is  thy  heart  too.*  If  we 
would  well  consider  these  words  of  our  Saviour  Christ,  we 
should,  as  methink,  need  no  more  counsel  at  all,  nor  no 
more  comfort  neither,  concerning  the  loss  of  our  temporal 
substance  in  this  Turk's  persecution  for  the  faith.  For 
here  our  Lord  in  these  words  teacheth  us  where  we  may 
lay  up  our  substance  safe,  before  the  persecution  come. 

sa  safe  anu  sure  ^  we  Pu*  ^  in^°  ^e  Poor  men's  bosoms,  there 
place  foe  ttea»  shall  it  lie  safe.  For  who  would  go  search  a 
beggar's  bag  for  money  ?  If  we  deliver  it  to 
the  poor  for  Christ's  sake,  we  deliver  it  unto  Christ  him 
self.  And  then  what  persecutor  can  there  be  so  strong, 
as  to  take  it  out  of  his  hand  ? 

*  Matth.  vi. 


VINCENT. — These  things  are,  uncle,  undoubtedly  so 
true,   that   no  man  may  with   words   wrestle  ^^  of  Uft 
therewith.     But  yet  ever  there  hangeth  in  a  a  sou  tempta- 
man's  heart  a  loathness  to  lack  a  living. 

ANTONY. — There   doth  indeed,  in   theirs,   that  either 
never  or  but  seldom  hear  any  good  counsel  there  against. 
And  when  they  hear  it,  hearken  it  but  as  they  would  an 
idle  tale,  rather  for  a  pastime,  or  for  the  manner  sake, 
than  for  any  substantial  intent  or  purpose  to  follow  good 
advertisement,  and  take  any  fruit  thereby.     But  verily,  if 
we  would  not  only  lay  our  ear,  but  also  our 
heart  thereto,  and  consider  that  the  saying  of  ingot  ©oo's 
our  Saviour  Christ  is  not  a  poet's  fable,  nor  toortr' 
an  harper's  song,  but  the  very  holy  word  of  Almighty  God 
himself,  we  would,  and  well  we  might,  be  full  sore  ashamed 
in  ourself,  and  full  sorry  too,  when  we  felt  in  our  affection 
those  words  to  have  in  our  hearts  no  more  strength  and 
weight,  but  that  we  remain  still  of  the  same  dull  mind,  as 
we  did  before  we  heard  them. 

This  manner  of  ours,  in  whose  breasts  the  great  good 
counsel  of  God  no  better  settleth  nor  taketh  no  better 
root,  may  well  declare  us  that  the  thorns,  and  the  briers, 
and  the  brambles  of  our  worldly  substance  grow  so  thick, 
and  spring  up  so  high  in  the  ground  of  our  hearts,  that 
they  strangle,  as  the  Gospel  saith,*  the  word  of  God  that 
was  sown  therein.  And  therefore  is  God  very  good  Lord 
unto  us,  when  he  causeth  like  a  good  husbandman  his 
folk  to  come  afield  (for  the  persecutors  be  his  folk  to  this 

purpose)  and  with  their  hooks  and  their  stock-   ^ 

,  ,    floto  fs  Soft's 

ing-irons  grub    up   these  wicked  weeds   and  toee&tng  ana 

bushes  of  our  earthly  substance,  and  carry  flrub()in8  ttmr- 
them  quite  away  from  us,  that  the  word  of  God  sown  in 
our  hearts  may  have  room  therein,  and  a  glade  round 
about  for  the  warm  sun  of  grace  to  come  to  it  and  make 
it  grow.  For  surely  these  words  of  our  Saviour  shall  we 
find  full  true :  Ubi  thesaurus  tuus,  ibi  est  et  cor  tuum, — 
Where  as  thy  treasure  is,  there  is  also  thy  heart.-)-  If  we 
lay  up  our  treasure  in  earth,  in  earth  shall  be  our  hearts. 
If  we  send  our  treasure  into  heaven,  in  heaven  shall  we 
*  Matth.xiii.  t  Ibidem  vi. 


(greatest  com-  have  our  hearts.  And  surely  the  greatest 
fort.  comfort  that  any  may  have  in  this  tribulation, 

is  to  have  his  heart  in  heaven.  If  thy  heart  were  indeed 
out  of  this  world  and  in  heaven,  all  the  kinds  of  torment 
that  all  this  world  could  devise,  could  put  thee  to  no  pain 
here.  Let  us  then  send  our  hearts  hence  thither,  in  such 
manner  as  we  may  (by  sending  thither  our  worldly  sub 
stance)  please  God.  And  let  us  never  doubt  it  but  we 
shall  (that  once  done)  find  our  hearts  so  conversant  in 
heaven,  with  the  glad  consideration  of  our  following  the 
gracious  counsel  of  Christ,  that  the  comfort  of  his  Holy 
Spirit  (inspired  us  therefor)  shall  mitigate,  minish,  assuage, 
and  in  a  manner  quench  the  great  furious  fervour  of  the 
pain  that  we  shall  hap  to  have  by  his  loving  sufferance  for 
our  farther  merit  in  our  tribulation. 

a  goou  stmiii-  And  therefore,  like  as  if  we  saw  that  we  should 
tune,  anD  true  be  within  a  while  driven  out  of  this  land,  and 
fain  to  flee  into  another,  we  would  ween  that 
man  were  mad,  which  would  not  be  content  to  forbear  his 
goods  here  for  the  while,  and  send  them  into  that  land 
before  him,  where  he  should  live  all  the  remnant  of  his 
life  :  so  may  we  verily  think  yet  ourself  much  more  mad 
(seeing  that  we  be  sure  it  cannot  be  long  ere  we  shall  be 
sent  spite  of  our  teeth  out  of  this  world)  if  the  fear  of  a 
little  lack,  or  the  love  to  see  our  goods  here  about  us,  and 
the  loathness  to  part  from  them  for  this  little  while 
which  we  may  keep  them  here,  shall  be  able  to  let  us 
from  that  sure  sending  them  before  us  into  the  tother 
world,  in  which  we  may  be  sure  to  live  wealthily  with 
them,  if  we  send  them  thither,  or  else  shortly  leave  them 
here  behind  us,  and  then  stand  in  great  jeopardy,  there  to 
live  wretches  for  ever. 

VINCENT. — In  good  faith,  uncle,  methink  that  concern 
ing  the  loss  of  these  outward  things,  these  considerations 
are  so  sufficient  comforts,  that  for  mine  own  part,  save 
only  grace  well  to  remember  them,  I  would  methink 
desire  no  more. 



Another  Comfort  and  Courage  against  the  loss  of  worldly 

NTONY. — MUCH  less  than  this  may  serve, 
cousin,  with  calling  and  trusting  upon 
God's  help,  without  which,  much  more 
than  this  cannot  serve.  But  the  fervour 
of  the  Christian  faith  so  sore  fainteth  now 
adays,  and  decayeth,  coming  from  hot 
unto  lukewarm,  and  from  lukewarm  almost  to  jpa(t{,  sore  fte, 
key-cold,  that  men  must  now  be  fain  as  at  a  C3^ElJ- 
fire  that  is  almost  out,  to  lay  many  dry  sticks  thereto, 
and  use  much  blowing  thereat.  But  else  would  I  ween, 
by  my  troth,  that  unto  a  warm  faithful  man  one  thing 
alone,  whereof  we  spake  yet  not  a  word,  were  comfort 
enough  in  this  kind  of  persecution  against  the  loss  of  all 
his  goods. 

VINCENT. — What  thing  may  that  be,  uncle  ? 
ANTONY. — In   good  faith,  cousin,   even  the  orfjnst's  tutifui 
bare   remembrance   of  the   poverty  that  our  $0*>crts- 
Saviour  willingly  suffered  for  us.     For  I  verily  suppose, 
that  if  there  were  a  great  king  that  had  so  tender  love  to 
a  servant  of  his,  that  he  had  (to  help  him  out  of  danger) 
forsaken  and  left  of  all  his  worldly  wealth  and  royalty, 
and  become  poor  and   needy  for  his  sake  :  the  servant 
could   scant  be  found  that  were  of  such  an  5uc^  ft(lc  0(l. 
unkind   villain  courage,  that  if  himself  came  {J'J^JJJf 
after  to  some  substance,  would  not  with  better 
will   lose  it  all  again,  than  shamefully  to  forsake  such 
a  master.     And  therefore,  as  I  say,  I  do  surely  suppose, 

250  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 

that  if  we  would  well  remember  and  inwardly  consider 
the  great  goodness  of  our  Saviour  Christ  toward  us,  not 
yet  being  his  poor  sinful  servants,  but  rather  his  adver 
saries  and  his  enemies,  and  what  wealth  of  this  world  that 
he  willingly  forsook  for  our  sake,  being  indeed  universal 
king  thereof,  and  so  having  the  power  in  his  own  hand  to 
have  used  it,  if  he  had  would,  instead  whereof  (to  make 
us  rich  in  heaven)  he  lived  here  in  neediness  and  poverty 
all  his  life,  and  neither  would  have  authority,  nor  keep 
neither  lands  nor  goods :  the  deep  consideration  and 
earnest  advisement  of  this  one  point  alone,  were  able  to 
make  any  kind  Christian  man  or  woman  well  content 
rather  for  his  sake  again  to  give  up  all  that  ever  God 
an  (s  tut  lent  na^n  'en^  them  (and  lent  them  hath  he  all  that 
to  us.  ever  they  have)  than  unkindly  and  unfaithfully 

jForsafting  of     to  forsake  him.     And  him  they  forsake,  if  that 
for   fear   they  forsake   the  confession  of  his 
Christian  faith. 

And  therefore  to  finish  this  piece  withal,  concerning  the 
dread  of  losing  our  outward  worldly  goods,  let  us  con 
sider  the  slender  commodity  that  they  bring,  with  what 
labour  they  be  bought,  how  little  they  abide  with  whom 
soever  they  be  longest,  what  pain  their  pleasure  is 
mingled  withal,  what  harm  the  love  of  them  doth  unto 
the  soul,  what  loss  is  in  the  keeping  (Christ's  faith  refused 
for  them),  what  winning  in  the  loss,  if  we  lose  them  for 
God's  sake,  how  much  more  profitable  they  be  well  given 
than  evil  kept,  and  finally,  what  unkindness  it  were,  if  we 
would  not  rather  forsake  them  for  Christ's  sake,  than 
unfaithfully  forsake  Christ  for  them,  which,  while  he 
lived,  for  our  sake  forsook  all  the  world,  beside  the  suffer 
ing  of  shameful  and  painful  death,  whereof  we  shall 
speak  after:  if  we  these  things,  I  say,  will  consider  well, 
and  will  pray  God  with  his  holy  hand  to  print  them  in 
our  hearts,  and  will  abide  and  dwell  still  in  the  hope  of 
his  help  :  his  truth  shall  (as  the  prophet  saith)  so  compass 
us  about  with  a  pavice,  that  we  shall  not  need  to  be 
afraid  ab  incursu  et  dcemonio  meridiano, — of  this  incursion 
of  the  mid-day  devil,  this  open  plain  persecution  of  the 
Turk,  for  any  loss  that  we  can  take  by  the  bereaving  from 


us  of  our  worldly  goods,  for  whose  short  and  small  plea 
sure  in  this  life  forborne,  we  shall  be  with  heavenly  sub^ 
stance  everlastingly  recompensed  of  God  in  joyful  bliss 
and  glory. 


Of  bodily  Pain,  and  that  a  man  hath  no  cause  to  take 
discomfort  in  persecution,  though  he  feel  himself  in  an 
horror  at  the  thinking  upon  the  bodily  pain. 

INCENT. — FORSOOTH,  uncle,  as  for  these 
outward  goods,  you  have  so  farforth  said, 
that  no  man  can  be  sure  what  strength  he 
shall  have,  or  how  faint  and  how  feeble  he 
may  hap  to  find  himself  when  he  shall 
hap  to  come  to  the  point,  and  therefore  I 
can  make  no  warrantise  of  myself,  seeing  that  St.  Peter 
so  suddenly  fainted  at  a  woman's  word  and  so  cowardly 
forsook  his  master,  for  whom  he  had  so  boldly  fought 
within  so  few  hours  afore,  and  by  that  fall  in  forsaking 
well  perceived  that  he  had  been  rash  in  his  promise,  and 
was  well  worthy  to  take  a  fall  for  putting  so  full  trust  in 
himself:  yet  in  good  faith  methinketh  now  (and  God 
shall  I  trust  help  me  to  keep  this  thought  still),  that  if 
the  Turk  should  take  all  that  I  have  unto  my  very  shirt 
(except  I  would  forsake  my  faith)  and  offer  it  me  all 
again  with  five  times  as  much  thereto  to  fall  into  his  sect, 
I  would  not  once  stick  thereat,  rather  to  forsake  it  every 
whit  than  of  Christ's  holy  faith  to  forsake  any  one  point. 
But  surely,  good  uncle,  when  I  bethink  me  farther  on  the 


grief  and  the  pain  that  may  turn  unto  my  flesh,  here  find 
I  the  fear  that  forceth  my  heart  to  tremble. 

ANTONY. — Neither  have  I  cause  to  marvel  thereof,  nor 
you,  cousin,  cause  to  be  dismayed  therefor.  The  great 
horror  and  fear  that  our  Saviour  had  in  his  own  flesh 
against  his  painful  passion,  maketh  me  little  to  marvel, 
and  may  well  make  you  take  that  comfort  too,  that  for 
no  such  manner  of  grudging  felt  in  your  sensual  parts, 
the  flesh  shrinking  at  the  meditation  of  pain  and  death, 
your  reason  shall  give  over,  but  resist  it  and  manly 
master  it.  And  though  you  would  fain  flee  from  the 
painful  death,  and  be  loth  to  come  thereto ;  yet  may  the 
iKemtatton  of  meditation  of  his  great  grievous  agony  move 
(jurist's  apns.  yOU>  an(|  himself  shall,  if  you  so  desire  him, 
not  fail  to  work  with  you  therein,  and  get  and  give  you 
the  grace,  that  you  shall  submit  and  conform  your  will 
therein  unto  his,  as  he  did  unto  his  Father,  and  shall 
thereupon  be  so  comforted  with  the  secret  inward  inspi 
ration  of  his  Holy  Spirit,  as  he  was  with  the  personal  pre 
sence  of  the  angel  that  after  his  agony  came  and  comforted 
him,1*  that  you  shall  as  his  true  disciple  follow  him,  and 
with  good  will  without  grudge  do  as  he  did,  and  take 
your  cross  of  pain  and  passion  on  your  back,  and  die  for 
the  truth  with  him,  and  thereby  reign  with  him  crowned 
in  eternal  glory.  And  this,  I  say,  to  give  you  warning 
of  the  thing  that  is  truth,  to  the  intent  when  a  man 
feels  such  an  horror  of  death  in  his  heart,  he  should  not 
thereby  stand  in  outrageous  fear  that  he  were  falling. 
For  many  a  such  man  standeth  for  all  that  fear  full  fast, 
and  finally  better  abideth  the  brunt,  when  God  is  so  good 
unto  him  as  to  bring  him  thereto,  and  encourage  him 
therein,  than  doth  some  other  that  in  the  beginning 
feeleth  no  fear  at  all.  And  yet  may  it  be,  and  most  often 
so  it  is,  that  God  having  many  mansions,  and  all  wonderful 
wealthful  in  his  Father's  house,  f  exalteth  not  every  good 
<$  man  man  up  to  the  glory  of  a  martyr,  but  foreseeing 
meet  to  tea  their  infirmity,  that  though  they  be  of  good 
will  before,  and  peradventure  of  right  good 
courage  too,  would  yet  play  St.  Peter,  if  they  were  brought 

*  Luc.  xxii.  f  Johan.  xiv. 


to  the  point,  and  thereby  bring  their  souls  into  the  peril 
of  eternal  damnation:  he  provideth  otherwise  for  them, 
before  they  come  thereat,  and  either  findeth  a  <g0i,  tDcm&cr- 
way  that  men  shall  not  have  the  mind  to  lay  «*|Winrt. 
any  hands  upon  them,  as  he  found  for  his  disciples,*  when 
himself  was  willingly  taken,  or  that  if  they  set  hand  on 
them,  they  shall  have  no  power  to  hold  them,  as  he 
found  for  St.  John  the  Evangelist,  f  which  let  his  sheet 
fall  from  him,  whereupon  they  caught  hold,  and  fled  him 
self  naked  away,  and  scaped  from  them  ;  or,  though  they 
hold  him  and  bring  him  to  prison  too,  yet  God  sometime 
delivereth  them  thence,  as  he  did  St.  Peter,J  and  some 
time  he  taketh  them  to  him,  out  of  prison  into  heaven, 
and  suffered!  them  not  to  come  to  their  torment  at  all,  as 
he  hath  done  by  many  a  good  holy  man.  And  some  he 
suffereth  to  be  brought  into  the  torments,  and  yet  he  suf 
fereth  them  not  to  die  therein,  but  live  many  years  after, 
and  die  their  natural  death,  as  he  did  by  St.  John  the 
Evangelist  and  by  many  another  more,  as  we  may  well 
see  both  in  sundry  stories,^  and  in  the  epistles  of  St.  Cy 
prian  also. || 

And  therefore  which  way  God  will  take  with  us,  we 
cannot  tell :  but  surely  if  we  be  true  Christian  men,  this 
can  we  well  tell,  that  without  any  bold  warrantise  of  our- 
self,  or  foolish  trust  in  our  strength,  we  be  bound  upon 
pain  of  damnation,  that  we  be  not  of  the  contrary  mind, 
but  that  we  will  with  his  help  (how  loth  soever  we  feel 
our  flesh  thereto)  rather  yet  than  forsake  him  or  his  faith 
afore  the  world  (which  if  we  do,  he  hath  promised  to  for 
sake  us  before  his  Father,^  and  all  the  holy  company  of 
heaven),  rather,  I  say,  than  we  would  so  do,  we  would  with 
his  help  endure  and  sustain  for  his  sake  all  the  tormentry 
that  the  devil  with  all  his  faithless  tormentors  in  this 
world  could  devise.  And  then  when  we  be  of  this  mind, 
and  submit  our  will  unto  his,  and  call  and  pray  for  his 
grace,  we  can  tell  well  enough  that  he  will  never  suffer 

*  Matth.  xxvi.  f  Marc.  xiv.  J  Actor,  xii. 

§  Theodor.  Hist.  lib.  Hi.  c.  16 ;  Euseb.  Hist.  lib.  iii.  c.  25  ;  De  Blandina 
et  aliis,  Hist.  Eccl.  lib.  v.  cap.  2. 

||  Lib.  ii.  epist.  6,  et  lib.  iv.  epist.  5.  IF  Luc.  xii. 


them  to  put  more  upon  us  than  his  grace  will  make  us 
able  to  bear,  but  will  also  with  their  temptation 
provide  for  us  a  sure  way. 

For  Fidelis  Deus  (saith  St.  Paul)  qui  non  patitur  vos 
tentari,  supra  id  quod  potestis,  sed  dat  etiam  cum  tenta- 
tatione  proventum, — God  is,  saith  the  apostle,  faithful, 
which  suffereth  you  not  to  be  tempted  above  that  you 
may  bear,  butgiveth  also  with  the  temptation  a  way  out.* 
For  either,  as  I  said,  he  will  keep  us  out  of  their  hands 
(though  he  before  suffer  us  to  be  feared  with  them  to 
prove  our  faith  withal,  that  we  may  have  by  the  examina 
tion  of  our  own  mind,  some  comfort  in  hope  of  his  grace, 
and  some  fear  of  our  own  frailty  to  drive  us  to  call  for 
grace),  or  else  if  we  fall  in  their  hands,  so  that  we  fall  not 
from  him,  nor  cease  to  call  for  his  help,  his  truth  shall,  as 
the  prophet  saith,  so  compass  us  about  with  a  pavice, 
that  we  shall  need  not  to  fear  this  incursion  of  this  midday 
devil.  For  either  shall  these  Turk's  tormentors  that  shall 
enter  into  this  land  and  persecute  us,  either  they  shall,  I 
say,  not  have  the  power  to  touch  our  bodies  at  all,  or 
else  the  short  pain  that  they  shall  put  into  our  bodies, 
shall  turn  us  to  eternal  profit  both  in  our  souls  and  in  our 
bodies  too. 

And  therefore,  cousin,  to  begin  with,  let  us  be  of  good 
comfort.  For  sith  we  be  by  our  faith  very  sure  that 
Holy  Scripture  is  the  very  word  of  God,  and  that  the 
word  of  God  cannot  be  but  very  true,  and  that  we  see 
that  both  by  the  mouth  of  his  holy  prophet,  and  by  the 
mouth  of  his  blessed  apostle  also,  God  hath  made  us  so 
faithful  promise,  both  that  he  will  not  suffer  us  to  be 
tempted  above  our  power,  but  will  both  provide  a  way  out 
for  us,  and  that  he  will  also  round  about  so  compass  us 
with  his  pavice,  and  defend  us,  that  we  shall  have  no 
cause  to  fear  this  midday  devil  with  all  his  persecution  : 
we  cannot  now  but  be  very  sure  (except  we  be  very 
shamefully  cowardous  of  heart,  and  toward  God  in  faith 
out  of  measure  faint,  and  in  love  less  than  lukewarm,  or 
waxen  even  key-cold),  we  may  be  very  sure,  I  say,  that 
either  God  shall  not  suffer  the  Turks  to  invade  this  land, 
»  1  Cor.  x. 


or,  if  they  do,  God  shall  provide  such  resistance  that  they 
shall  not  prevail :  or,  if  they  do  prevail,  yet  if  we  take 
the  way  that  I  have  told  you,  we  shall  by  their  persecu 
tion  take  little  harm  or  rather  no  harm  at  all,  but  that 
that  shall  seem  harm,  shall  indeed  be  to  us  no  harm  at  all, 
but  good.  For  if  God  make  us  and  keep  us  good  men  (as 
he  hath  promised  to  do,  if  we  pray  therefor)  then  saith 
Holy  Scripture :  Bonis  omnia  cooper antur  in  bonum, — 
Unto  good  folk  all  things  turn  them  to  good.* 

And  therefore,  cousin,  sith  that  God  knoweth  what 
shall  hap,  and  not  we,  let  us  in  the  meanwhile  with  a 
good  hope  in  the  help  of  God's  grace,  have  a  good  pur 
pose  with  us  of  sure  standing  by  his  holy  faith  against  all 
persecutions.  From  which  if  we  should  (which  our  Lord 
forbid)  hereafter  either  for  fear  of  pain,  or  for  lack  of 
grace  (lost  in  our  own  default)  mishap  to  decline :  yet  had 
we  both  won  the  well-spent  time  in  this  good  purpose 
before,  to  the  minishment  of  our  pain,  and  were  also  much 
the  more  likely,  that  God  should  lift  us  up  after  our  fall, 
and  give  us  his  grace  again.  Howbeit,  if  this  persecu 
tion  come,  we  be  by  this  meditation  and  well-continued  in 
tent  and  purpose  before,  the  better  strengthened  and  con 
firmed,  and  much  the  more  likely  for  to  stand  indeed.  And 
if  it  so  fortune  (as  with  God's  grace  at  men's  good 
prayers  and  amendment  of  our  evil  lives,  it  may  fortune 
full  well)  that  the  Turk  shall  either  be  well  jrjjetoapto 
withstanden  and  vanquished,  or  perad venture  JltrR^aSi 
not  invade  us  at  all :  then  shall  we,  pardie,  iemtcs. 
by  this  good  purpose  get  ourself  of  God  a  very  good  cheap 
thank.  And  on  the  other  side,  while  we  now  think 
thereon  (as  not  to  think  thereon,  in  so  great  likelihood 
thereof,  I  ween  no  wise  man  can)  if  we  should  for  the  fear 
of  worldly  loss,  or  bodily  pain,  framed  in  our  own  minds, 
think  that  we  would  give  over,  and  to  save  our  goods  and 
our  lives,  forsake  our  Saviour  by  denial  of  his  faith,  then 
whether  the  Turk  come,  or  come  not,  we  be  gone  from 
God  the  while.  And  then  if  they  come  not  indeed,  or 
come  and  be  driven  to  flight,  what  a  shame  should  this 
*  Rom.  viii. 


be  to  us  before  the  face  of  God,  in  so  shameful  cowardous 

wise  to  forsake  him  for  fear  of  that  pain  that 
gjouj  man?  sucg  f  .  i 

cotoartts  fie        we  never  telt,  nor  never  was  falling  towards 

VINCENT. — By  my  troth,  uncle,  I  thank  you.  Me- 
think,  that  though  you  never  said  more  in  the  matter,  yet 
have  you  even  with  this  that  you  have  (of  the  fear  of  bodily 
pain  in  this  persecution)  spoken  here  already,  marvel 
lously  comforted  my  heart. 

ANTONY. —  I  am  glad,  cousin,  if  your  heart  have  taken 
comfort  thereby.  But  and  if  you  so  have,  give  God  the 
thank,  and  not  me,  for  that  work  is  his,  and  not  mine. 
For  neither  am  I  able  any  good  thing  to  say,  but  by  him, 
nor  all  the  good  words  in  this  world,  no  not  the  holy 
words  of  God  himself,  and  spoken  also  with  his  own  holy 
mouth,  can  be  able  to  profit  the  man  with  the  sound 
entering  at  his  ear,  but  if  the  spirit  of  God  therewith 
inwardly  work  in  his  soul ;  but  that  is  his  goodness  ever 
ready  to  do,  except  the  let  be  through  the  untowardness  of 
our  own  froward  will. 



Of  Comfort  against  bodily  Pain,  and  first  against  Captivity. 

ND  therefore  now  being  somewhat  in  com 
fort  and  courage  before,  whereby  we  may 
the  more  quietly  consider  every  thing, 
which  is  somewhat  more  hard  and  difficile 
to  do,  when  the  heart  is  before  taken  up 
and  oppressed  with  the  troublous  affection 
of  heavy  sorrowful  fear:  let  us  examine  the  weight  and 
substance  of  these  bodily  pains,  as  the  sorest  part  of  this 
persecution  which  you  rehearsed  before,  which  were  (if  I 
remember  you  right)  thraldom,  imprisonment,  painful  and 
shameful  death.  And  first  let  us,  as  reason  is,  begin  with 
the  thraldom,  for  that  was,  I  remember,  the  first. 

VINCENT. — I  pray  you,  good  uncle,  say  then  somewhat 
thereof.     For  methinketh,  uncle,  that  captivity 
is  a  marvellous  heavy  thing,  namely  when  they 
shall,  as  they  most  commonly  do,  carry  us  far  from  home, 
into  a  strange  uncouth  land. 

ANTONY. — I  cannot  say  nay,  but  that  some  grief  it  is, 
cousin,  indeed.  But  yet  as  unto  me  not  half  so  much  as 
it  would  be,  if  they  could  carry  me  out  into  any  such 
unknown  country,  that  God  could  not  wit  where,  nor  find 
the  mean  how  to  come  at  me.  But  in  good  faith,  cousin, 
now,  if  my  transmigration  into  a  strange  country  should 
be  any  great  grief  unto  me,  the  fault  should  be  much  in 
myself.  For  sith  I  am  very  sure  that  whithersoever  men 
convey  me,  God  is  no  more  verily  here,  than  he  shall  be 
there  :  if  I  get  (as  I  may,  if  I  will)  the  grace  to  set  my 
whole  heart  on  him,  and  long  for  nothing  but  him,  it  can 


258  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 

then  make  no  great  matter  to  my  mind,  whether  they 
carry  me  hence  or  leave  me  here.  And  then  if  I  find  my 
mind  much  offended  therewith,  that  I  am  not  still  here  in 
mine  own  country,  I  must  consider  that  the  cause  of  my 
grief  is  my  own  wrong  imagination,  whereby  I  beguile 
myself  with  an  untrue  persuasion,  weening  that  this  were 
mine  own  country,  whereas  of  truth  it  is  not  so.  For  as 
St.  Paul  saith,  Non  habemus  hie  civitatem  manentem,  sed 
futuram  inquirimus, — We  have  here  no  city  nor  dwelling 
country  at  all,  but  we  look  for  one  that  we  shall  come 
to.*  And  in  what  country  soever  we  walk  in  this  world, 
aaefie  ail  pu-  we  ^>e  Dut  as  pilgrims  and  wayfaring  men.  And 
srtms.  if  [  should  take  any  country  for  my  own,  it 

must  be  that  country  to  which  I  come,  and  not  the 
country  from  which  I  came.  That  country  that  shall  be 
aa&fjtcf)  is  our  to  me  then  for  a  while  so  strange,  shall  yet, 
otuti  county.  pardie,  be  no  more  strange  to  me,  nor  longer 
strange  to  me  neither,  than  was  mine  own  native  country 
when  I  came  first  into  it.  And  therefore  if  that  point  of  my 
being  far  from  hence  be  very  grievous  to  me,  and  that  I 
find  it  a  great  pain,  that  I  am  not  where  I  would  be  :  that 
grief  shall  great  part  grow  for  lack  of  sure  setting  and 
settling  my  mind  in  God,  where  it  should  be  ;  which  fault 
of  mine  when  I  mend,  I  shall  soon  ease  my  grief.  Now 
as  for  all  the  other  griefs  and  pains  that  are  in  captivity, 
thraldom,  and  bondage ;  I  cannot  deny  but  many  there  are 
and  great.  Howbeit  they  seem  yet  somewhat  (what  say 
I  somewhat,  I  may  say  a  great  deal)  the  more,  because 
we  took  our  former  liberty  for  more  or  a  great  deal,  than 
indeed  it  was.  Let  us  therefore  consider  the  matter 

aaitjat  ts  cap-  Captivity,  bondage,  or  thraldom,  what  is  it 
ttcup.  but  the  violent  restraint  of  a  man,  being  so 

subdued  under  the  dominion,  rule,  and  power  of  another, 
that  he  must  do  what  the  other  list  to  command  him, 
and  may  not  at  his  liberty  do  such  things  as  he  list  him 
self.  Now  when  we  shall  be  carried  away  with  a  Turk, 
and  be  fain  to  be  occupied  about  such  things  as  he  list  to 
set  us ;  here  shall  we  lament  the  loss  of  our  liberty,  and 
*  Heb.  xiii. 


think  we  bear  an  heavy  burden  of  our  servile  condition 
And  so  to  do  (I  grant  well)  we  shall  have  many  times  great 
occasion.     But  yet  should  we,   I   suppose,   set  thereby 
somewhat  the  less,    if  we  would  remember  well,   what 
liberty  that  was  that  we  lost,  and  take  it  for  no  smomis 
larger  than  it  was  indeed.     For  we  reckon,  as   m«v- 
though  we  might  before  do  what  we  would:  but  therein 
deceive  we  ourself. 

For  what  free  man  is  there  so  free,  that  can  be  suffered 
to  do  what  him  list?  In  many  things  God  hath  restrained 
us  by  his  high  commandment,  and  so  many  that  of  those 
things  which  else  we  would  do,  I  ween  it  be  more  than 
the  half.  Howbeit,  because  (God  forgive  us!) 
we  let  so  little  therefor,  but  do  what  we  list,  kttetij  unit 
as  though  we  heard  him  not,  we  reckon  our  nott1' 
liberty  never  the  less  for  that.  But  then  is  our  liberty 
much  restrained  by  the  laws  made  by  men,  for  the  quiet 
and  politic  governance  of  the  people.  And  these  would,  I 
ween,  let  our  liberty  but  a  little  neither,  were  it  not  for 
fear  of  the  pains  that  fall  thereupon.  Look  then  whether 
other  men,  that  have  authority  over  us,  command  us  never 
no  business  which  we  dare  not  but  do,  and  ©tfjesiabersof 
therefore  do  it  full  oft  full  sore  against  our  wills.  t*e  ttorHl! 
Of  which  things  some  service  is  sometime  so  painful  and 
so  perilous  too,  that  no  lord  can  lightly  command  his 
bondman  worse,  nor  seldom  doth  command  him  half  so 
sore.  Let  every  free  man  that  reckoneth  his  liberty  to 
stand  in  doing  what  he  list,  consider  well  these  points, 
and  I  ween  he  shall  then  find  his  liberty  much  less,  than 
he  took  it  for  before. 

And  yet  have  I  left  untouched  the  bondage,  that  almost 
every  man  is  in  that  boasteth  himself  for  free;  &$t  tonnage  of 
the  bondage,  I  mean,  of  sin.  Which  to  be  a  sfn- 
very  bondage,  I  shall  have  our  Saviour  himself  to  bear  me 
good  record.  For  he  saith :  Omnis  qui  facit  peccatum, 
servus  est  peccati,  —  Every  man  that  committeth  sin, 
is  the  thrall,  or  the  bondsman  of  sin.*  And  then,  if 
this  be  thus  (as  it  must  needs  so  be,  sith  God  saith  it  is 
so),  who  is  there  then  that  may  make  so  much  boast  of  his 

*  Johan.  viii. 

s  2 

260  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 

liberty,  that  he  should  take  it  for  so  sore  a  thing  and  so 
strange,   to  become  through  chance  of  war  bond  unto  a 
man,  while   he  is  already  through  sin  become  willingly 
thrall  and  bond  unto  the  devil?     Let  us  look  well,  how 
many  things   and   of  what  vile  wretched  sort  the  devil 
driveth  us  to  do  daily  through  the  rash  braids  of  our  blind 
affections,  which  we  be  for  our  faultful  lack  of  grace  fain  to 
follow,  and  are  too  feeble  to  refrain,  and  then  shall  we 
find  in  our  natural  freedom  our  bond  service  such,  that 
aafiattonft    never  was  there  any  man  lord  of  any  so  vile  a 
naturaim"    villain,  that  ever  would  for  very  shame  com- 
now-  mand  him  so  shameful  service.     And  let  us  in 

the  doing  of  our  service  to  the  man  that  we  be  slave  unto, 
remember  what  we  were  wont  to  do  about  the  same  time 
of  the  day,  while  we  were  at  our  free  liberty  before,  and 
were  well  likely,  if  we  were  at  liberty  to  do  the  like  again  : 
and  we  shall  peradventure  perceive,  that  it  were  better  for 
us  to  do  this  business  than  that. 

Now  shall  we  have  great  occasion  of  comfort,  if  we  con 
sider,  that  our  servitude  (though  in  the  count  of  the  world 
it  seem  to  come  by  chance  of  war)  cometh  yet  in  very 
deed  unto  us,  by  the  provident  hand  of  God,  and  that  for 
our  great  good,  if  we  will  take  it  well,  both  in  remission  of 
sins,  and  also  matter  of  our  merit.  The  greatest  grief 
that  is  in  bondage  or  captivity  is  this,  as  I  trow,  that  we  be 
forced  to  do  such  labour  as  with  our  good  will  we  would 
not.  But  then  against  that  grief  Seneca  teacheth  us  a 
good  remedy  :  Semper  da  operam,  ne  quid  invitus  facias, — 
Endeavour  thyself  evermore,  that  thou  do  nothing  against 
thy  will :  but  the  thing  that  we  see  we  shall  needs  do,  let 
us  use  alway  to  put  our  good  will  thereto. 

VINCENT. — That  is,  uncle,  soon  said  :  but  it  is  hard  to 

ANTONY. — Our  froward  mind  rnaketh  every 

jFolK  are  fro*  ,     .  .        ,        ,  .  •* 

toaro unto  all  good  thing  hard,  and  that  unto  our  own  more 

hurt  and  harm.  But  in  this  case,  if  we  will  be 
good  Christian  men,  we  shall  have  great  cause  gladly  to  be 
content  for  the  great  comfort  that  we  may  take  thereby, 
while  we  remember  that  in  the  patient  and  glad  doing  of  our 
service  unto  the  man  for  God's  sake,  according  to  his  high 


commandment  by  the  mouth  of  St.  Paul, — Servi,  obedite 
dominis  carnalibus,* — we  shall  have  our  thank  and  our 
whole  reward  of  God.  Finally,  if  we  remember  the  great 
humble  meekness  of  our  Saviour  Christ  himself,  that  he 
being  very  Almighty  God,  Humiliavit  semetipsum,  formam 
servi  accipiens, — Humbled  himself,  and  took  the  form  of  a 
bondman  or  a  slave,f  rather  than  his  father  should  forsake 
us  :  we  may  think  ourself  very  unkind  caitives,  and  very 
frantic  fools  too,  if  rather  than  to  endure  this  worldly 
bondage  for  a  while,  we  would  forsake  him  that  hath  by  his 
own  death  delivered  us  out  of  everlasting  bondage  of  the 
devil,  and  will  for  our  short  bondage  give  us  everlasting 

VINCENT. — Well  fare  you,  good  uncle,  this  is  very  well 
said.  Albeit  that  bondage  is  a  condition  that  every  man 
of  any  courage  would  be  glad  to  eschew,  and  very  loth  to 
fall  in,  yet  have  you  well  made  it  open  that  it  is  a  thing 
neither  so  strange,  nor  so  sore,  as  it  before  seemed  unto 
me,  and  specially  far  from  such,  as  any  man  that  any  wit 
hath,  should  for  fear  thereof  shrink  from  the  confession 
of  his  faith.  And  now,  I  pray  you,  somewhat  speak  of 

*  Ephes.  vi.  f  Philip,  ii. 

262  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 


Of  Imprisonment,  and  Comfort  there  against. 

NTONY.— THAT  shall  I,  cousin,  with  good 
will.  And  first,  if  we  would  consider,  what 
thing  imprisonment  is  of  his  own  nature, 
we  should  not,  methink,  have  so  great 
horror  thereof.  For  of  itself  it  is,  pardie, 
but  a  restraint  of  liberty,  which  letteth 
a  man  from  going  whither  he  would. 

VINCENT.  —  Yes,  by  St.  Mary,  uncle,  me- 
[tnt'  thinketh  it  is  much  more  sorrow  than  so.    For 
beside  the  let  and  restraint  of  liberty,  it  hath  many  more 
displeasures  and  very  sore  griefs  knit  and  adjoined  there 

ANTONY. — That  is,  cousin,  very  true  indeed.  And 
those  pains,  among  many  sorer  than  those,  thought  I  not 
after  to  forget.  Howbeit,  I  purposed  now,  to  consider 
first  imprisonment  but  as  imprisonment  only,  without  any 
other  incommodity  beside.  For  a  man  may  be,  pardie, 
imprisoned,  and  yet  not  set  in  the  stocks,  nor  collared  fast 
by  the  neck,  and  a  man  may  be  let  walk  at  large  where 
he  will,  and  yet  a  pair  of  fetters  fast  riveted  on  his  legs. 
For  in  this  country,  ye  wot  well,  and  in  Seville  and  For- 
tingale  too,  so  go  there  all  the  slaves.  Howbeit,  because 
that  for  such  things  men's  hearts  have  such  horror  thereof, 
albeit  I  am  not  so  mad  as  to  go  about  to  prove  that 
bodily  pain  were  no  pain  ;  yet  sith  that  because  of  these 
manner  of  pains,  we  so  specially  abhor  the  state  and  con 
dition  of  prisoners,  we  should,  methink,  well  perceive 


that  a  great  part  of  our  horror  groweth  of  our  own  phan 
tasy,  if  we  would  call  to  mind  and  consider  the  state  and 
condition  of  many  other  folk,  in  whose  state  and  condi 
tion  we  would  wish  ourself  to  stand,  taking  them  for  no 
prisoners  at  all,  that  stand  yet  for  all  that  in  much  part  of 
the  selfsame  points  that  we  abhor  imprisonment  for.  Let 
us  therefore  consider  these  things  in  order. 

And  first,  as  I  thought  to  begin,  because  those  other 
kinds  of  griefs  that  come  with  imprisonment,  are  but 
accidents  thereunto,  and  yet  neither  such  kinds  of  acci 
dents  as  be  either  proper  thereunto,  but  that  they  may 
(almost  all)  fall  unto  a  man  without  it,  nor  are  not  such 
accidents  thereunto,  as  are  inseparable  therefrom,  but  that 
imprisonment  may  fall  to  a  man,  and  none  of  all  them 
therewith  :  we  will,  I  say,  therefore  begin  with  the  consi 
dering  what  manner  pain  or  commodity  we  should  reckon 
imprisonment  to  be  of  itself,  and  of  his  own  nature  alone. 
And  then  in  the  course  of  our  communication,  you  shall, 
as  you  list,  increase  and  aggrieve  the  cause  of  your  horror 
with  the  terror  of  those  painful  accidents. 

VINCENT. — I  am  sorry  that  I  did  interrupt  your  tale. 
For  you  were  about,  I  see  well,  to  take  an  orderly  way 
therein.  And  as  yourself  have  devised,  so  I  beseech  you 
proceed.  For  though  I  reckon  imprisonment  much  the 
sorer  thing  by  sore  and  hard  handling  therein,  yet  reckon 
I  not  the  imprisonment  of  itself  any  less  than  a  thing 
very  tedious,  all  were  it  used  in  the  most  favourable  man 
ner  that  it  possibly  might.  For,  uncle,  if  it  were  a  great 
prince  that  were  taken  prisoner  upon  the  field,  and  in  the 
hand  of  a  Christian  king,  which  use  in  such  case  (for  the 
consideration  of  their  former  state,  and  the  mutable 
chance  of  the  war)  to  shew  much  humanity  to  a  prince's  tm= 
them,  and  in  very  favourable  wise  entreat  them  PrfsolunEUt- 
(for  these  infidel  emperors  handle  oftentimes  the  princes 
that  they  take  more  villanously  than  they  do  the  poorest 
men,  as  the  great  Tamberlane  *  kept  the  great  Turk  when 
he  had  taken  him,  to  tread  on  his  back  alway  while  he  leapt 
on  horseback) ;  but,  as  I  began  to  say  by  the  sample  of  a 
prince  taken  prisoner,  were  the  imprisonment  never  so 
*  Sabellic.  JEnead  ix.  lib.  ix. 

264  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 

favourable,  yet  were  it  in  ray  mind  no  little  grief  in  itself 
for  a  man  to  be  pinned  up,  though  not  in  a  narrow  cham 
ber,  but  although  his  walk  were  rio-ht  large,  and  right 
fair  gardens  too  therein,  it  could  not  but  grieve  his  heart 
to  be  restrained  by  another  man  within  certain  limits  and 
bounds,  and  lose  the  liberty  to  be  where  him  list. 

ANTONY. — This  is,  cousin,  well  considered  of  you.  For 
in  this  you  perceive  well,  that  imprisonment  is  of  itself, 
and  his  own  very  nature  alone,  nothing  else  but  the 
retaining  of  a  man's  person  within  the  circuit  of  a  certain 
space,  narrower  or  larger,  as  shall  be  limited  to  him, 
restraining  his  liberty  from  the  further  going  into  any 
other  place. 

VINCENT. — Very  well  said,  as  methinketh. 

ANTONY. — Yet  forgot  I,  cousin,  to  ask  you  one  ques 

VINCENT. — What  is  that,  uncle? 

ANTONY. — This,  lo :  if  there  be  two  men  kept  in  two 
several  chambers  of  one  great  castle,  of  which  two  cham 
bers  the  one  is  much  more  large  than  the  other :  whe 
ther  be  they  prisoners  both,  or  but  the  one  that  hath  the 
less  room  to  walk  in  ? 

VINCENT. — What  question  is  it,  uncle,  but  that  they  be 
prisoners  both,  as  I  said  myself  before,  although  the  one 
lay  fast  locked  in  stocks,  and  the  other  had  all  the  whole 
castle  to  walk  in  ? 

ANTONY. — Methinketh  verily,  cousin,  that  you  say  the 
truth.  And  then  if  imprisonment  be  such  a  thing  as 
yourself  here  agree  it  is,  that  is  to  wit,  but  a  lack  of 
liberty  to  go  whither  we  list :  now  would  I  fain  wit  of 
you,  what  any  one  man  you  know,  that  is  at  this  day  out 
of  prison  ? 

VINCENT.  —  What  one  man,  uncle?  Marry  I  know 
almost  none  other.  For  surely  prisoner  am  I  none 
acquainted  with,  that  I  remember. 

ANTONY. — Then  I  see  well,  you  visit  poor  prisoners 

VINCENT. — No  by  my  troth,  uncle,  I  cry  God  mercy. 
I  send  them  sometime  my  alms,  but,  by  my  troth,  I  love 
not  to  come  myself  where  I  should  see  such  misery. 


ANTONY. — In  good  faith,  cousin  Vincent,  though  I  say 
it  before  you,  you  have  many  good  conditions  :  but  surely 
though  I  say  it  before  you  too,  that  condition  is  none  of 
them.     Which  condition  if  you  would  amend,  then  should 
you  have  yet  the  more  good  conditions  by  one.     And, 
peradventure,  by  more  than  three  or  four.     For  I  assure 
you,  it  is  hard  to  tell  how  much  good   to  a  ^^  Q00&  in 
man's  soul  the  personal  visiting  of  poor  pri-   otstttns  pn» 
soners  doth.     But  now  sith  you  can  name  me 
none  of  them  that  are  in  prison,  I  pray  you  name  some 
one  of  all  them,  that   you   be  (as   you    say)  better  ac 
quainted  with,  men,  I  mean,  that  are  out  of  prison.    For  I 
know,  methink,   as  few   of  them,  as    you  know  of  the 

VINCENT.  —  That  were,  uncle,  a  strange  case.  For 
every  man  is,  uncle,  out  of  prison,  that  may  go  where  he 
will,  though  he  be  the  poorest  beggar  in  the  town.  And 
in  good  faith,  uncle  (because  you  reckon  imprisonment 
so  small  a  matter  of  itself ),  the  poor  beggar  that  is  at  his 
liberty,  and  may  walk  where  he  will,  is  as  me  seemeth  in 
better  case,  than  is  a  king  kept  in  prison,  that  cannot  go 
but  where  men  give  him  leave. 

ANTONY. — Well,  cousin,  whether  every  way-walking 
beggar  be  by  this  reason  out  of  prison  or  no,  we  shall  con 
sider  farther  when  you  will.  But  in  the  meanwhile,  I  can  by 
this  reason  see  no  prince  that  seemeth  to  be  out  of  prison. 
For  if  the  lack  of  liberty  to  go  where  a  man  will,  be  impri 
sonment,  as  yourself  say  it  is,  then  is  the  great  Turk,  by 
whom  we  so  fear  to  be  put  in  prison,  in  prison  ^^  not  ^ 

already  himself.     For  he  may  not  go  where  he  c«at  srurtt tn 

•11      c  i          -i.i  i  i    • •    -L      r»  prison,  i)e 

will  :  for  an  he  might,  he  would  into  Portin-   tooinc  overrun 

gale,  Italy,  Spain,  France,  Almaine,  and  Eng-  alL 
land,  and  as  far  on  another  quarter  too,  both  Prester 
John's  land  and  the  great  Cham's  too.  Now  the  beggar 
that  you  speak  of,  if  he  be,  as  you  say  he  is  by  reason  of 
his  liberty  to  go  where  he  will,  in  much  better  case  than 
a  king  kept  in  prison,  because  he  cannot  go  but  where 
men  give  him  leave.:  then  is  that  beggar  in  better  case, 
not  only  than  a  prince  in  prison,  but  also  than  many 
a  prince  out  of  a  prison  too.  For  I  am  sure  there  is 

266  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 

many  a  beggar  that  may  without  let,  walk  farther  upon 
a  beggar  in  other  men's  ground,  than  many  a  prince  at  his 
tetter  case  tfian  best  liberty  may  walk  upon  his  own.  And  as 
for  walking  out  abroad  upon  other  men's,  that 
prince  might  hap  to  be  said  nay,  and  holden  fast,  where  that 
beggar  with  his  bag  and  his  staff  would  be  suffered  to  go 
forth  and  hold  on  his  way.  But  forasmuch,  cousin,  as 
neither  the  beggar  nor  the  prince  is  at  free  liberty  to 
1  r(nces  rannot  wa^  where  they  will,  but  that  if  they  would 
toff11"11'  wa^  ^n  some  ?lace>  "either  of  them  both 
should  be  suffered,  but  men  would  withstand 
them  and  say  them  nay :  therefore  if  prisonment  be  (as 
you  grant  it  is)  a  lack  of  liberty  to  go  where  we  list,  I 
cannot  see,  but,  as  I  say,  the  beggar  and  the  prince, 
whom  you  reckon  both  at  liberty,  be  by  your  own  reason 
restrained  in  prison  both. 

VINCENT.  —  Yea  but,  uncle,  the  one  and  the  other 
have  way  enough  to  walk  :  the  one  in  his  own  ground, 
the  other  in  other  men's,  or  in  the  common  highway, 
where  they  may  walk  till  they  be  both  weary  of  walking 
ere  any  man  say  them  nay. 

ANTONY. — So  may,  cousin,  that  king  that  had,  as  your 
self  put  the  case,  all  the  whole  castle  to  walk  in ;  and 
yet  you  say  not  nay,  but  that  he  is  a  prisoner  for  all  that, 
though  not  so  straitly  kept,  yet  as  verily  prisoner,  as  he 
that  lieth  in  the  stocks. 

VINCENT. — But  they  may  go  at  the  leastwise  to  every 
place  that  they  need,  or  that  is  commodious  for  them, 
and  therefore  they  do  not  will  to  go  but  where  they  may 
go,  and  therefore  be  they  at  liberty  to  go  where  they  will. 

ANTONY. — Me  needeth  not,  cousin,  to  spend  the  time 
about  the  impugning  every  part  of  this  answer.  For 
letting  pass  by,  that  though  a  prisoner  were  with  his 
keeper  brought  into  every  place  where  need  required  :  yet 
sith  he  might  not  when  he  would,  go  where  he  would  for 
his  only  pleasure,  he  were,  you  wot  well,  a  prisoner  still; 
and  letting  pass  over  also  this,  that  it  were  to  this  beggar 
need,  and  to  this  king  commodious,  to  go  into  divers  places, 
where  neither  of  them  both  may  come :  and  letting  pass 
also,  that  neither  of  them  both  is  lightly  so  temperately 


determined,  but  that  they  both  fain  so  would  do  indeed,  if 
this  reason  of  yours  put  them  out  of  prison,  and  set  them 
at  liberty,  and  make  them  free  (as  I  will  well  grant  it  doth, 
if  they  so  do)  indeed ;  that  it  is  to  wit,  if  they  no  will  to  go, 
but  where  they  may  go  indeed :  then  let  us  look  on  our 
other  prisoners,  inclosed  within  a  castle,  and  we  shall  find 
that  the  straitest  kept  of  them  both,  if  he  get  the  wisdom 
and  the  grace  to  quiet  his  own  mind,  and  hold  wnsum  ana 
himself  content  with  that  place,  and  long  not  fmaSut'of" 
(like  a  woman  with  child  for  her  lusts)to  be  gad-  »rison- 
ding  out  anywhere  else,  is  by  the  same  reason  of  yours, 
while  his  will  is  not  longing  to  be  anywhere  else,  he  is,  I 
say,  at  his  free  liberty,  to  be  where  he  will,  and  so  is  out 
of  prison  too. 

And  on  the  other  side,  if  though  his  will  be  not  long- 
ins;  to  be  anywhere  else,  yet  because  that  if  his  will  so 
were,  he  should  not  so  be  suffered,  he  is  therefore  not  at 
his  free  liberty,  but  a  prisoner  still :  so  sith  your  free 
beggar  that  you  speak  of,  and  the  prince  that  you  call 
out  of  prison  too,  though  they  be  (which  I  ween  very  few 
be)  by  some   special  wisdom,   so  temperately  disposed, 
that  they  have  not  the  will  to  be,  but  where  intemperate 
they  see  they  may  be  suffered  to  be,  yet  sith  StSnu 
that  if  they  would  have  that  will,  they  could  not  tn  Prtson- 
then  be  where  they  would,  they  lack  the  effect  of  free 
liberty,  and  be  both  twain  in  prison  too. 

VINCENT. — Well,  uncle,  if  every  man  universally  be  by 
this  reason  in  prison  already  after  the  very  property  of 
imprisonment,  yet  to  be  imprisoned  in  this  special  manner, 
which  manner  is  only  commonly  called  imprisonment,  is 
a  thing  of  great  horror  and  fear,  both  for  the  straitness  of 
the  keeping  and  the  hard  handling  that  many  men  have 
therein,  of  all  which  griefs,  and  pains,  and  displeasures, 
in  this  other  general  imprisonment  that  you  speak  of,  we 
feel  nothing  at  all.  And  therefore  every  man  ubhorreth 
the  one,  and  would  be  loth  to  come  into  it:  and  no  man 
abhorreth  the  other,  for  they  feel  no  harm,  nor  find  no 
fault  therein.  Wherefore,  uncle,  in  faith  though  I  cannot 
find  answers  convenient,  wherewith  to  avoid  your  argu 
ments,  yet  to  be  plain  with  you,  and  tell  you  the  very 


truth,  my  mind  findeth  not  itself  satisfied  in  this  point :  but 
ever  methinketh,  that  these  things,  wherewith  you  rather 
convince  and  conclude  me,  than  induce  a  credence  and 
persuade  me,  that  every  man  is  prison  already,  be  but 
sophistical  phantasies:  and  that  (except  those  that  are 
commonly  prisoners)  other  men  are  not  in  prison  at  all. 

ANTONY. — Well  fare  thy  heart,  good  cousin  Vincent. 
There  was  in  good  faith  no  word  that  you  spake  since  we 
talked  of  those  matters,  that  half  so  well  liked  me,  as 
these  that  you  speak  now.  For  if  you  had  assented  in 
words,  and  in  your  mind  departed  unpersuaded,  then  if 
the  thing  be  true  that  I  say,  yet  had  you  lost  the  fruit. 
And  if  it  be  peradventure  false,  and  myself  deceived 
therein,  then  while  I  should  ween  that  it  liked  you  too, 
you  should  have  confirmed  me  in  my  folly.  For  in  good 
faith,  cousin,  such  an  old  fool  am  I,  that  this  thing,  in 
the  persuading  whereof  unto  you,  I  had  weened  I  had  quit 
me  well,  and  when  I  have  all  done,  appeareth  to  your 
mind  but  a  trifle  and  a  sophistical  phantasy,  myself  have 
so  many  years  taken  for  so  very  substantial  truth,  that  as 
yet  my  mind  cannot  give  me  to  think  it  any  other. 
Wherefore  lest  I  play  as  the  French  priest  played,  that 
had  so  long  used  to  say  Dominus  with  the  second  sylla 
ble  long,  that  at  the  last  he  thought  it  must  needs  be  so, 
and  was  ashamed  to  say  it  short,  to  the  intent  that  you 
may  the  better  perceive  me,  or  I  the  better  myself,  we  shall 
here  between  us  a  little  more  consider  the  thing,  and 
hardily  spit  well  on  your  hands,  and  take  good  hold,  and 
give  it  not  over  against  your  own  mind.  TFor  then  were 
we  never  the  nearer. 

VINCENT.— Nay,  by  my  troth,  uncle,  that  intend  I  not, 
nor  nothing  did  yet  since  we  began.  And  that  may  you 
well  perceive  by  some  things,  which  without  any  great 
cause,  save  for  the  satisfaction  of  mine  own  mind,  I 
repeated  and  debated  again. 

ANTONY. — That  guise,  cousin,  hold  on  hardily  still. 
For  in  this  matter  1  purpose  to  give  over  my  part,  except 
I  make  yourself  perceive,  both  that  every  man  univer 
sally  is  a  very  prisoner  in  very  prison,  plainly  without 
any  sophistication  at  all ;  and  that  there  is  also  no  prince 


living  upon  earth,  but  he  is  in  worse  case  prisoner  by  this 
general  imprisonment  that  I  speak  of,  than  is  many  a 
lewd  simple  wretch,  by  the  special  imprisonment  that  you 
speak  of.  And  over  this,  that  in  this  general  imprison 
ment  that  I  speak  of,  men  are  for  the  time  that  they  be 
therein  so  sore  handled  and  so  hardly,  and  in  such  painful 
wise,  that  men's  hearts  have  with  reason  great  cause  as 
sore  to  abhor  this  hard  handling  that  is  in  this  imprison 
ment,  as  the  other  that  is  in  that. 

VINCENT. — By  my  troth,   uncle,  these  things  would  I 
fain  see  well  proved. 

ANTONY. — Tell  me  then,  cousin,  by  your  troth,  if  there 
were  a  man  h'rst  attainted  of  treason  or  of  felony,  and 
after  judgment   given   of   his   death,    and   that   it   were 
determined  that  he  should  die,  only  the  time  of  his  execu 
tion  delayed  till  the  king's  farther  pleasure  known,  and 
he  thereupon  delivered  to  certain  keepers,  and  $  bcrp  pri. 
put  up  in  a  sure  place,  out  of  which  he  could  soner- 
not  scape,  were  this  man  a  prisoner  or  no? 

VINCENT. — This  man,  quod  he  ?     Yea  marry  that  he 
were  in  very  deed,  if  ever  any  man  were. 

ANTONY. — But  now,  what  if  for  the  time  that  were 
mean  between  his  attainder  and  his  execution,  he  were  so 
favourably  handled  that  he  were  suffered  to  do  what  he 
would,  as  he  was  while  he  was  abroad,  and  to  have  the 
use  of  his  lands  and  his  goods,  and  his  wife  and  his  chil 
dren  license  to  be  with  him,  and  his  friends  leave  at 
liberty  to  resort  unto  him,  and  his  servants  not  forbidden 
to  abide  about  him ;  and  add  yet  thereunto,  that  the 
place  were  a  great  castle  royal,  with  parks  and  other 
pleasures  therein  a  very  great  circuit  about;  yea  add  yet 
an  ye  will,  that  he  were  suffered  to  go  and  ride  also, 
both  when  he  would,  and  whither  he  would,  only  this  one 
point  alway  provided  and  foreseen,  that  he  should  ever  be 
sorely  seen  to  and  safely  kept  from  scaping,  so  that  took 
he  never  so  much  of  his  own  mind  in  the  meanwhile  all 
other  ways,  save  scaping,  yet  he  well  knew  that  scape  he 
could  not,  and  that  when  he  were  called  for,  to  execution 
and  to  death  he  should ;  now,  cousin  Vincent,  what 
would  you  call  this  man  ?  A  prisoner,  because  he  is 

270  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 

kept  for  execution?  Or  no  prisoner,  because  be  is  in  tbe 
meanwhile  so  favourably  handled,  and  suffered  to  do  all 
that  he  would,  save  scape  ?  And  I  bid  you  not  here  be 
hasty  in  your  answer,  but  advise  it  well,  that  you  grant  no 
such  thing  in  haste,  as  you  would  after  mislike  by  leisure, 
and  think  yourself  deceived. 

VINCENT. — Nay  by  my  troth,  uncle,  this  thing  needeth 
no  study  at  all  in  my  mind,  but  that  for  all  this  favour 
shewed  him,  and  all  his  liberty  lent  him,  yet  being  con 
demned  to  death,  and  being  therefor  kept,  and  kept  with 
such  sure  watch  laid  upon  him,  that  he  cannot  scape :  he 
is  all  that  while  a  very  plain  prisoner  still. 

ANTONY. — In  good  faith,  cousin,  methinketh  you  say 
very  true.  But  then  one  thing  must  I  yet  desire  you, 
cousin,  to  tell  me  a  little  farther.  If  there  were  another 
laid  in  prison  for  a  fray,  and  through  the  jailer's  displea 
sure  were  bolted  and  fettered,  and  laid  in  a  low  dungeon 
in  the  stocks,  where  he  might  hap  to  lie  peradventure  for 
a  while,  and  abide  in  the  mean  season  some  pain,  but  no 
danger  of  death  at  all,  but  that  out  again  he  should  come 
well  enough:  whether  of  these  two  prisoners  stood  in 
worse  case,  he  that  hath  all  this  favour,  or  he  that  is  thus 
hardly  handled  ? 

VINCENT. — By  our  Lady !  uncle,  I  ween  the  most  part 
of  men,  if  they  should  needs  choose,  had  lever  be  such 
prisoners  in  every  point,  as  he  that  so  sorely  lieth  in  the 
stocks,  than  in  every  point  such,  as  he  that  at  such 
liberty  walketh  about  the  park. 

ANTONY. — Consider  then,  cousin,  whether  this  thing 
seem  any  sophistry  to  you,  that  I  shall  shew  you  now. 
For  it  shall  be  such  as  seemeth  in  good  faith  substan 
tially  true  to  me.  And  if  it  so  hap  that  you  think  other 
wise,  I  will  be  very  glad  to  perceive  which  of  us  both  is 
beguiled.  For  it  seemeth  to  me,  cousin,  first,  that  every 
man  coming  into  this  world  here  upon  earth,  as  he  is 
created  by  God,  so  cometh  he  hither  by  the  providence  of 
God.  Is  this  any  sophistry  first,  or  not  ? 

VINCENT. — Nay  verily,  this  is  very  substantial  truth. 

ANTONY. — Now  take  I  this  also  for  very  truth  in  my 
mind,  that  there  cometh  no  man  nor  woman  hither  into 


the  earth,  but  that  ere  ever  they  come  quick  into  the 
world  out  of  the  mother's  womb,  God  condem-  an  must  txe 
neth  them  unto   death  by  his  own  sentence  once< 
and  judgment  for  the  original  sin  that  they  bring  with 
them  contracted  in  the  corrupted  stock  of  our  forefather 
Adam.     Is  this,  think  you,  cousin,  verily  thus,  or  not? 

VINCENT. — This  is,  uncle,  very  true  indeed. 

ANTONY. — Then  seemeth  this  true  farther  unto  me,  that 
God  hath  put  every  man  here  upon  the  earth,  under  so 
sure  and  under  so  safe  keeping,  that  of  all   the  whole 
people  living  in  this  wide  world,  there  is  neither 
man,  woman,  nor  child,  would  they  never  so  Sttt  tseoirs 
far  wander  about  and  seek  it,  whereby  they  prison- 
may  scape  from  death.     Is  this,  cousin,  a  fond  imagined 
fancy,  or  is  it  very  truth  indeed  ? 

VINCENT. — Nay,  this  is  no  imagination,  uncle,  but  a 
thing  so  clearly  proved  true,  that  no  man  is  so  mad  to  say 

ANTONY. — Then  need  I  no  more,  cousin.  For  then  is 
all  the  matter  plain  and  open  evident  truth,  which  I  said 
I  took  for  truth.  Which  is  yet  more  a  little  now,  than  I 
told  you  before,  when  you  took  my  proof  yet  but  for  a 
sophistical  phantasy,  and  said,  that  for  all  my  reasoning, 
that  every  man  is  a  prisoner,  yet  you  thought,  that 
except  those  whom  the  common  people  call  prisoners, 
there  is  no  man  a  very  prisoner  indeed.  And  now  you 
grant  yourself  again  for  very  substantial  truth,  that  every 
man  is  here  (though  he  be  the  greatest  king  upon  earth) 
set  here  by  the  ordinance  of  God  in  a  place,  be  it  never 
so  large,  a  place,  I  say,  yet  (and  you  say  the  same)  out 

of  which  no  man  can  scape,  but  that  therein  is 

.        j  i      f    i         •  Sfflic  ut  all 

every  man  put  under  sure  and  safe  keeping,  to  ©au's  oers  prt 

be  readily  set  forth,  when  God  calleth  for  him,  s 
and  that  then  he  shall  surely  die.     And  is  not  then,  cousin, 
by  your  own  granting  before,  every  man  a  very  prisoner, 
when  he  is  put  in  a  place  to  be  kept,  to  be  brought  forth 
when  he  would  not,  and  himself  wot  not  whither? 

VINCENT. — Yes,  in  good  faith,  uncle,  I  cannot  but  well 
perceive  this  to  be  so. 

ANTONY. — This  were,  you  wot  well,  true,  although  a 


man  should  be  but  taken  by  the  arm,  and  in  fair  manner 
led  out  of  this  world  unto  his  judgment.  But  now,  while 
we  well  know  that  there  is  no  king  so  great,  but  that  all 
the  while  he  walketh  here,  walk  he  never  so  loose,  ride 
he  with  never  so  strong  an  army  for  his  defence,  yet  him 
self  is  very  sure  (though  he  seek  in  the  mean  season 
pastime  can-  some  other  pastime  to  put  it  out  of  his  mind) 
not  put  tt  out  — yet  is  he  very  sure,  I  say,  that  scape  can  he 
not ;  and  very  well  he  knoweth,  that  he  hath 
already  sentence  given  upon  him  to  die,  and  that  -verily 
die  he  shall,  and  that  himself  (though  he  hope  upon 
long  respite  of  his  execution),  yet  can  he  not  tell  how 
dfooisinuert,  soon.  And  therefore,  but  if  he  be  a  fool,  he 

tijut  ttiir  not  ,          .  ,  —  -  ._ 

tftfs  i  can  never  be  without  fear,  that  either  on  the 

morrow,  or  on  the  selfsame  day,  that  grisly,  cruel  hang- 
Seat?)  tfie  c  man>  Death,  which,  from  his  first  coming  in, 
nrraioang-  hath  ever  hoved  aloof,  and  looked  toward  him, 
and  ever  lain  in  await  on  him,  shall  amid 
mong  all  his  royalty,  and  all  his  main  strength,  neither 
kneel  before  him,  nor  make  him  any  reverence,  nor  with 
any  good  manner  desire  him  to  come  forth  •  but  rigorously 
and  fiercely  gripe  him  by  the  very  breast,  and  make  all 
his  bones  rattle,  and  so  by  long  and  divers  sore  torments, 
ztinganu  strike  him  stark  dead  in  this  prison,  and  then 
co!!w\o™j)1s  cause  his  body  to  be  cast  into  the  ground  in 
same  mention,  a  foul  pit,  within  some  corner  of  the  same, 
there  to  rot  and  be  eaten  with  the  wretched  worms  of 
the  earth,  sending  yet  his  soul  out  farther  unto  a  more 
fearful  judgment,  whereof  at  his  temporal  death  his 
success  is  uncertain ;  and  therefore,  though,  by  God's 
a  srconti  an&  grace,  not  out  of  good  hope,  yet  for  all  that, 
Kmcnt  ft?  *n  ^  meanwn^e>  m  verY  sore  dread  and  fear, 
princes  ant  ail.  and  peradventure,  in  peril  inevitable  of  eternal 
fire,  too. 

Methinketh  therefore,  cousin,  that,  as  I  told  you,  this 
keeping  of  every  man  in  this  wretched  world  for  execu 
tion  of  death,  is  a  very  plain  imprisonment  indeed,  and 
that  as  I  say  such,  that  the  greatest  king  is,  in  this 
prison,  in  much  worse  case,  in  all  his  wealth,  than  many 
a  man  is  by  the  other  imprisonment,  that  is  therein  sore 


and  hardly  handled.  For  where  some  of  those  lie  not 
there  attainted,  nor  condemned  to  death,  the  greatest 
man  of  this  world,  and  the  most  wealthy  in  this  universal 
prison,  is  laid  in  to  be  kept  undoubtedly  for  death. 

VINCENT. — But  yet,  uncle,  in  that  case,  is  the  other 
prisoner  too;  for  he  is  as  sure  that  he  shall  die  too, 

ANTONY. — That  is  very  truth,  cousin,  indeed,  and  well 
objected  too.  But  then  must  you  consider,  that  he  is 
not  in  danger  of  death  by  reason  of  that  prison  into 
which  he  is  put,  peradventure  but  for  a  light  fray ;  but 
his  danger  of  death  is  by  the  other  imprisonment,  by 
which  he  is  prisoner  in  the  great  prison  of  this  whole 
earth,  in  which  prison  all  the  princes  thereof  be  prisoners 
as  well  as  he.  If  a  man  condemned  to  death  were  put 
up  in  a  large  prison,  and  while  his  execution  were 
respited,  he  were,  for  fighting  with  his  fellows,  put  up 
in  a  strait  place  (part  of  the  same),  he  is  in  danger  of 
death  in  the  strait  prison,  but  not  by  the  being  in  that, 
for  therein  he  is  but  for  the  fray,  but  his  deadly  imprison 
ment  was  the  other  (the  larger,  I  say)  into  which  he 
was  put  for  death  :  so  the  prisoner  that  you  speak  of,  is 
beside  that  narrow  prison,  a  prisoner  of  the  broad  world, 
and  all  the  princes  thereof  therein  prisoners  with  him. 
And  by  that  imprisonment,  both  they  and  he  in  like 
danger  of  death,  not  by  that  strait  imprisonment  that  is 
commonly  called  imprisonment,  but  by  that  imprison 
ment  which  (because  of  the  large  walk)  men  call  it 
liberty,  and  which  prison  you  thought  therefore  but  a 
phantasy  sophistical  to  prove  it  any  prison  at  all. 

But  now  may  you,  methinketh,  very  plainly  perceive 
that  this  whole  earth  is  not  only  for  all  the  whole  kind 
of  man  a  very  plain  prison  indeed,  but  also  that  every 
man  without  exception,  even  those  that  are  most  at  their 
liberty  therein,  and  reckon  themselves  great  lords  and 
possessioners  of  very  great  pieces  thereof,  and  thereby 
wax  with  wantonness  so  forgetful  of  their  own  state 
that  they  ween  they  stand  in  great  wealth, — do  stand, 
for  all  that  indeed,  by  the  reason  of  their  imprisonment 
in  this  large  prison  of  the  whole  earth,  in  the  selfsame 



condition  that  others  do  stand ;  which  in  the  narrow 
prisons,  which  only  be  called  prisons,  and  which  only  be 
reputed  prisons  in  the  opinion  of  the  common  people, 
stand  in  the  most  fearful  and  in  the  most  odious  case, 
that  is,  to  wit,  condemned  already  to  death.  And  now, 
cousin,  if  this  thing  that  I  tell  you  seem  but  a  sophistical 
phantasy  to  your  mind,  I  would  be  glad  to  know  what 
moveth  you  so  to  think.  For  in  good  faith,  as  I  have 
¥etfctomatfc  told  you  twice,  I  am  no  wiser,  but  that  I 
tijtsmttf).  verily  ween  that  the  thing  is  thus  of  very 
plain  truth,  in  very  deed. 


INCENT.— IN  good  faith,  uncle,  as  for 
thus  far  forth,  I  not  only  can  make  with 
any  reason  no  resistance  thereagainst,  but 
also  see  very  clearly  proved,  that  it  can  be 
none  otherwise ;  but  that  every  man  is  in 
this  world  a  very  prisoner,  sith  we  be  all 
put  here  into  a  sure  hold  to  be  kept  till  we  be  put  to 
execution,  as  folk  already  condemned  all  to  death.  But 
yet,  uncle,  that  strait  keeping,  collaring,  bolting,  and 
stocking,  with  lying  in  straw  or  on  the  cold  ground 
(which  manner  of  hard  handling  is  used  in  these  special 
prisonments  that  only  be  commonly  called  by  that  name), 
must  needs  make  that  imprisonment  which  only  among 
the  people  beareth  that  name,  much  more  odious  and 
dreadful,  than  the  general  imprisonment  wherewith  we 
be  every  man  universally  prisoned  at  large,  walking 
where  we  will  round  about  the  wide  world.  In  which 
broad  prison,  out  of  those  narrow  prisons,  there  is  with 
the  prisoners  no  such  hard  handling  used. 


ANTONY. — I  said,  I  trow  cousin,  that  I  purposed  to 
prove  you  farther  yet,  that  in  this  general  prison,  the 
large  prison,  I  mean,  of  this  whole  world,  folk  be  for  the 
time  that  they  be  therein  as  sore  handled  and  as  hardly, 
and  wrenched  and  wronged  and  breaked  in  such  painful 
wise,  that  our  hearts  (save  that  we  consider  it  not)  have 
with  reason  good  and  great  cause  to  grudge  thereagainst; 
and  (as  far  forth  as  pertaineth  only  to  the  respect  of  pain) 
as  much  horror  to  conceive  against  the  hard  handling 
that  is  in  this  prison,  as  the  other  that  is  in  that. 

VINCENT. — Indeed,  uncle,  truth  it  is  that  this  you  said 
you  would  prove. 

ANTONY. — Nay,  so  much  said  I  not,  cousin,  but  I  said 
I  would  if  I  could,  and  if  I  could  not,  then  would  I 
therein  give  over  my  part.  But  that  trust  I,  cousin,  I 
shall  not  need  to  do,  the  thing  seemeth  me  so  plain. 
For,  cousin,  not  only  the  prince  and  king,  but  east^itttun^ 
also  (though  he  have  both  angels  and  devils  an&tatior. 
that  are  jailors  under  him,  yet)  the  chief  jailor  over  this 
whole  broad  prison  the  world,  is,  as  I  take  it,  God.  And 
that,  I  suppose,  you  will  grant  me  too. 

VINCENT. — That  will  I  not,  uncle,  deny. 

ANTONY. — If  a  man  be,  cousin,  committed  unto  prison, 
for  no  cause  but  to  be  kept,  though  there  lie  never  so 
great  charge  upon  him,  yet  his  keeper,  if  he  be  good  and 
honest,  is  neither  so  cruel  that  would  pain  the  man  of 
malice,  nor  so  covetous  that  would  put  him  to  pain  to 
make  him  seek  his  friends,  and  to  pay  for  a  pennyworth 
of  ease.  Else,  if  the  place  be  such  that  he  be  sure  to 
keep  him  safe  otherwise,  or  that  he  can  get  surety  for 
the  recompense  of  more  harm  than  he  seeth  he  should 
have,  if  he  scaped  ;  he  will  never  handle  him  in  any  such 
hard  fashion  as  we  most  abhor  imprisonment  for.  But 
marry,  if  the  place  be  such  as  the  keeper  cannot  other 
wise  be  sure,  then  is  he  compelled  to  keep  him  after  the 
rate  the  straiter.  And  also,  if  the  prisoner  be  unruly, 
and  fall  to  fighting  with  his  fellows,  or  do  some  other 
manner  of  shrewd  turn,  then  useth  the  keeper  to  punish 
him  sundry  wise  in  some  of  such  fashions  as  yourself 
have  spoken  of.  So  is  it  now,  cousin,  that  God,  tha 

T  2 


chief  jailor,  as  I  say,  of  this  broad   prison  the  world,  is 

neither  cruel  nor  covetous.     And   this  prison  is  also  so 

sure  and  so  subtly  builded,  that  albeit  that  it  lieth  open 

on  every  side  without  any  wall  in  the  world,  yet 

wander  we  never  so  far  about  therein,  the  way 

to  get  out  at  shall  we  never  find  :  so  that  he  needeth  neither 

to  collar  us,  nor  to  stock  us,  for  any  fear  of  scaping  away. 

And  therefore  (except  he  see  some  other  cause  than  our 

only  keeping  for  death),  he  letteth  us  in  the  meanwhile 

(for   as    long    as   he  list  to  respite  us)    walk   about   in 

the  prison,  and  do  therein  what  we  will,  using 

?eiatJmBB«ia«  ourself  in  such  wise,  as  he  hath  (by  reason 

(Son's  bill.        an(j  revelation)  from  time  to  time  told  us  his 


And  hereof  it  cometh,  lo,  that  by  reason  of  this  favour 
aaiji>  tne  for-  f°r  a  time  we  wax,  as  I  said,  so  wanton,  that 
act  tins  prison.  we  forget  where  we  be  ;  weening  that  we  were 
lords  at  large,  whereas  we  be  indeed  (if  we  would  well 
consider  it)  even  silly  poor  wretches  in  prison.  For  of 
aafiat  canting  truth,  our  very  prison  this  earth  is:  and  yet 
tn  prison.  thereof  we  cant  us  out  (partly  by  covenants 
that  we  make  among  us,  and  part  by  fraud,  and  part  by 
violence  too)  divers  parts  diversely  to  ourself,  and 
change  the  name  thereof  from  the  odious  name  of  prison, 
and  call  it  our  own  land  and  livelihood.  Upon  our 
©efiat  rule  toe  prison  we  build,  our  prison  we  garnish  with 
fcctp  m  prison,  gold,  an(j  make  it  glorious.  In  this  prison 
they  buy  and  sell,  in  this  prison  they  brawl  and  chide, 
in  this  prison  they  run  together  and  fight ;  in  this  they 
dice,  in  this  they  card,  in  this  they  pipe  and  revel,  in 
this  they  sing  and  dance.  And  in  this  prison  many  a 
man  reputed  right  honest,  letteth  not  for  his  pleasure  in 
the  dark  privily  to  play  the  knave.  And  thus  while  God 
the  king,  and  our  chief  jailor  too,  suffereth  us  and  letteth 
us  alone,  we  ween  ourself  at  liberty,  and  we  abhor  the 
state  of  those  whom  we  call  prisoners,  taking  ourselves 
for  no  prisoners  at  all. 

In  which  false  persuasion  of  wealth,  and  forgetfulness 
of  our  own  wretched  state  (which  is  but  a  wandering 
about  for  a  while  in  this  prison  of  the  world,  till  we  be 


brought  unto  the  execution    of  death),   while  we  forget 
with  our  folly  both  ourself  and  our  jail,  and  our  uncler- 
jailors,  angels  and  devils   both,  and  our  chief-jailor  God 
too, — God  that   forgetteth  not  us,  but  seeth  us  all  the 
while  well  enough,  and  being  sore  discontent  <80&  sects  an 
to  see  so  shrewd  rule  kept  in  the  jail  (beside  JjfjpJJg1^ 
that  he  sendeth  the  hangman  Death,  to  put  fits  prisoners. 
to  execution  here  and  there,  sometimes  by  the  thousands 
at  once),  he  handleth  many  of  the  remnant,  whose  exe 
cution  he  forbeareth  yet  unto  a  farther  time,  even    as 
hardly,  and   punisheth   them    as  sore   in    this   common 
prison  of  the  world,  as  there  are  any  handled  in  those 
special  prisons,  which   for  the  hard  handling  used  (you 
say)  therein,  your  heart  hath  in  such  horror,  and  so  sore 

VINCENT. — The  remnant  will  I  not  gainsay;  for  methink 
I  see  it  so  indeed.  But  that  God,  our  chief  jailor  in  this 
world,  useth  any  such  prisonly  fashion  of  punishment, 
that  point  I  must  needs  deny.  For  I  neither  see  him  lay 
any  man  in  the  stocks,  or  strike  fetters  on  his  legs,  or  so 
much  as  shut  him  up  in  a  chamber  either. 

ANTONY. — Is  he  no  minstrel,  cousin,  that  playeth  not 
on  a  harp?  Maketh  no  man  melody,  but  he  that 
playeth  on  a  lute?  He  may  be  a  minstrel  and  make 
melody,  you  wot  well,  with  some  other  instrument,  some 
strange-fashioned,  peradventure,  that  never  was  seen 
before.  God  our  chief  jailor,  as  himself  is  invisible,  so 
useth  he  in  his  punishment  invisible  instruments :  and 
therefore  not  of  like  fashion  as  the  other  jailors  do,  but 
yet  of  like  effect,  and  as  painful  in  feeling,  as  those.  For 
he  layeth  one  of  his  prisoners  with  an  hot  fever,  #oVe  ffttcrs 
as  evil  at  his  ease  in  a  warm  bed,  as  the  other  ««& asues,  &c. 
jailor  layeth  his  upon  the  cold  ground.  He  wringeth  by 
the  brows  with  a  megrim,  he  collareth  them  by  the  neck 
with  a  quinsy,  he  bolteth  them  by  the  arms  with  a  palsy, 
that  they  cannot  lift  their  hands  to  their  heads  :  he  ma- 
nacleth  their  hands  with  the  gout  in  their  fingers,  he 
wringeth  them  by  the  legs  with  a  cramp  in  their  shins, 
he  bindeth  them  to  the  bed-board  with  the  crick  in 
the  back,  and  layeth  one  there  along,  and  as  unable  to 

278  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 

rise,  as  though  he  lay  by  the  feet  fast  in  the  stocks. 
Some  prisoner  of  another  jail  singeth,  clanceth  in  his  two 
fetters,  and  feareth  not  his  feet  for  stumbling  at  a  stone  ; 
while  God's  prisoner,  that  hath  but  his  one  foot  fettered 
with  the  gout,  lieth  groaning  on  a  couch,  and  quaketh 
and  crieth  out,  if  he  fear  there  would  fall  on  his  foot  no 
more  but  a  cushion. 

And  therefore,  cousin,  as  I  said,  if  we  consider  it  well, 
we  shall  find  this  general  prison  of  the  whole  earth  a  place 
in  which  the  prisoners  be  as  sore  handled  as  they  be  in 
the  other.  And  even  in  the  other,  some  make  as  merry 
too,  as  there  do  some  in  this  that  are  very  merry  at  large 
out  of  that.  And  surely,  like  as  we  ween  ourself  out  of 
prison  now ;  so  if  there  were  some  folk  born  and  brought 
up  in  a  prison,  that  never  came  on  the  wall,  nor  looked 
out  of  the  door,  nor  never  heard  of  other  world  abroad, 
but  saw  some,  for  shrewd  turns  done  among  themself, 
locked  up  in  straiter  room,  and  heard  them  only  called 
prisoners  that  were  so  served,  and  themself  ever  called 
free  folk  at  large ;  the  like  opinion  would  they  have  there 
of  themself  then,  that  we  have  here  of  ourself  now.  And 
when  we  take  ourself  for  other  than  prisoners  now,  as 
verily  we  be  deceived  now  as  those  prisoners  should  there 
be  then. 

VINCENT. — I  cannot,  uncle,  in  good  faith,  say  nay,  but 
that  you  have  performed  all  that  you  have  promised. 
But  yet  sith  that  for  all  this  there  appeareth  no  more, 
but  as  they  be  prisoners,  so  be  we  too ;  and  that  as  some 
of  them  be  sore  handled,  so  be  some  of  us  too ;  sith  we  wot 
well  for  all  this,  that  when  we  come  to  those  prisons,  we 
shall  not  fail  to  be  in  a  straiter  prison  than  we  be  now, 
and  to  have  a  door  shut  upon  us  where  we  have  none 
shut  on  us  now,  this  shall  we  be  sure  of  at  the  least 
wise,  if  there  come  no  worse ;  and  then  may  there  come 
worse,  you  wot  well,  it  cometh  there  so  commonly : 
wherefore  for  all  this,  it  is  yet  little  marvel  though  men's 
hearts  grudge  much  thereagainst. 

ANTONY. — Surely,  cousin,  in  this  you  say  very  well. 
Howbeit  somewhat  had  your  words  touched  me  the 
nearer,  if  I  had  said  that  imprisonment  were  no  displear 


sure  at   all.     But  the  thing  that  I   say,  cousin,  for  our 
comfort  therein  is,  that  our  phantasy  frameth  us  a  false 

opinion,  by  which  we  deceive  ourself,  and  take  „ 

.r  '     J  .  ©ur  oton  pttan- 

it  for  sorer  than  it  is.     And  that  do  we,  by  tasp  uccetoetti 

the  reason  that  we  take  ourself  before,  for  us' 
more  free  than  we  be,  and  prisonment  for  a  stranger  thing 
to  us  than  it  is  indeed.  And  thus  far  forth,  as  I  said, 
have  I  proved  truth  in  very  deed.  But  now  the  incom- 
modities  that  you  repeat  again  (those,  1  say,  that  are 
proper  to  the  imprisonment  of  their  own  nature,  that  is, 
to  wit,  to  have  less  room  to  walk  in,  and  to  have  the  door 
shut  upon  us) — these  are,  methink,  so  very  slender  and 
slight,  that  in  so  great  a  cause  as  to  suffer  for  God's  sake, 
we  might  be  sore  ashamed  so  much  as  once  to  think  upon 

Many  a  good  man  there  is,  you  wot  well,  which  with 
out  force  at  all,  or  any  necessity  wherefore  he  should  so 
do,  suflfereth  these  two  things  willingly  of  his  own  choice, 

with  much  other  hardness  more, — holy  monks. 

fil     ^,  /  '    Close  prison. 

1  mean,  or  the  Charterhouse  order,  such  as  never 

pass  their  cells,  but  only  to  the  church  set  fast  by  their  cells, 
and  thence  to  their  cells  again;  and  S.  Bridget's  order; 
and  S.  Clare's  much  like,  and,  in  a  manner  all  close  reli 
gious  houses.  And  yet  ancres  and  ancresses  most  specially, 
all  whose  whole  room  is  less  than  a  merely  large  chamber; 
and  yet  are  they  there  as  well  content  many  long  years 
together,  as  are  other  men,  and  better  too,  that  walk 
about  the  world.  And  therefore  you  may  see,  that  the 
loathness  of  less  room,  and  the  door  shut  upon  us,  while 
so  many  folk  are  so  well  content  therewith,  and  will  for 
God's  love  live  so  to  chuse,  is  but  an  horror  enhanced  of 
our  own  phantasy. 

And  indeed  I  wist  a  woman  once,  that  came  a  putts  tau 
into  a  prison  to  visit  of  her  charity  a  poor  anlimie- 
prisoner  there,  whom  she  found  in  a  chamber  (to  say  the 
truth)   meetly  fair,  and  at  the  leastwise  it  was  strong 
enough.     But  with  mats  of  straw  the  prisoner  had  made 
it  so  warm,  both   under  the  feet  and  round  about  the 
walls,  that  in  these  things  for  the  keeping  of  his  health 
.she  was  on  his  behalf  glad  and  very  well  comforted.    But 

'280  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 

among  many  other  displeasures  that  for  his  sake  she  was 
sorry  for,  one  she  lamented  much  in  her  mind,  that  he 
should  have  the  chamber  door  shut  upon  him  by  night, 
and  made  fast  by  the  jailor  that  should  shut  him  in.  For 
by  my  troth,  quod  she,  if  the  door  should  be  shut  upon 
me,  I  would  ween  it  would  stop  up  my  breath.  At  that 
word  of  hers,  the  prisoner  laughed  in  his  mind ;  but  he 
durst  not  laugh  aloud,  nor  say  nothing. to  her,  for  some 
what  indeed  he  stood  in  awe  of  her,  and  had  his  finding 
there  much  part  of  her  charity  for  alms  ;  but  he  could  not 
but  laugh  inwardly,  while  he  wist  well  enough  that  she 
used  on  the  inside  to  shut  every  night  full  surely  her  own 
chamber  to  her,  both  door  and  windows  too,  and  used  not 
to  open  them  of  all  the  long  night.  And  what  difference 
then,  as  to  the  stopping  of  the  breath,  whether  they  were 
shut  up  within,  or  without  ? 

And  so  surely,  cousin,  these  two  things  that  you  speak 
of,  are  neither  other  of  so  great  weight,  that  in  Christ's 
cause  ought  to  move  a  Christian  man,  and  the  one  of  the 
twain  is  so  very  a  childish  phantasy,  that  in  a  matter 
almost  of  three  chips  (but  if  it  were  in  chance  of  fire) 
should  move  any  man  as  much  as  think  thereof. 

As  for  those  other  accidents  of  hard  handling  therein,  so 
mad  am  I  not  to  say  they  be  no  grief;  but  I  say,  that  our 
fear  may  imagine  them  much  greater  grief  than  they  be. 

And  I  say,  that  such  as  they  be,  many  a  man  endureth 
them ;  yea  and  many  a  woman  too,  that  after  fare  full 

And  then  would  I  wit  what  determination  we  take, 
whether  for  our  Saviour's  sake  to  suffer  some  pain  in  our 
bodies  (sith  he  suffered  in  his  blessed  body  so  great  pains 
for  us)  or  else  to  give  him  warning  and  be  at  a  point,  rather 
utterly  to  forsake  him  than  suffer  any  pain  at  all.  He 
that  cometh  in  his  mind  unto  this  latter  point  (from  which 
kind  of  unkindness  God  keep  every  man !)  comfort  he 
none  needeth,  for  he  will  flee  the  need;  and  counsel, 
ifgracefiesont  ^  ^ear>  ava^eth  him  little,  if  grace  be  so  far 
counsel  adaiietti  gone  from  him.  But  on  the  other  side,  if 
rather  than  forsake  our  Saviour,  we  determine 
ourself  to  suffer  any  pain  at  all ;  I  cannot  then  see  that 


the  fear  of  hard  handling  should  any  thing  stick  with  us, 
and  make  us  so  to  shrink,  as  we  would  rather  a  Po&  uetmni- 
forsake  his  faith,  than  to  suffer  for  his  sake  so  nat(on- 
much  as  imprisonment;  sith  the  handling  is  neither  such 
in  prison,  but  that  many  men  many  years,  and  many 
women  too,  live  therewith  and  sustain  it,  and  afterward 
yet  fare  full  well.  And  yet  that  it  may  well  fortune,  that 
beside  the  very  bare  imprisonment,  there  shall  happen  us 
no  hard  handling  at  all,  nor  that  same  haply  but  for  a 
short  while  neither,  and  yet  beside  all  this  peradventure 
not  at  all.  And  specially  sith,  which  of  all  these  ways 
shall  be  taken  with  us,  lieth  all  in  his  will  for  whom  be 
content  to  take  it,  and  which  for  that  mind  of  ours 
favoureth  us,  and  will  suffer  no  man  to  put  more  pain 
unto  us  than  he  well  wotteth  we  shall  be  well  able  to 
bear.  For  he  will  give  us  the  strength  thereto  himself, 
as  you  have  heard  his  promise  already  by  the  mouth  of 
St.  Paul,  Fidelis  Deus,  qui  non  patietur  vos  tentari  supra 
id  quod  potestis  ferre,  sed  dat  etiam  cum  tentatione  pro- 
ventum ; — God  is  faithful,  which  suffereth  you  not  to  be 
tempted  above  that  you  may  bear,  but  giveth  also  with 
the  temptation  a  way  out.*  But  now,  if  we  have  not 
lost  our  faith  already,  before  we  come  to  forsake  it  for 
fear;  we  know  very  well  by  our  faith,  that  by  the  forsaking 
of  our  faith,  we  fall  into  the  state  to  be  cast  into  the 
prison  of  hell,  and  that  can  we  not  tell  how  soon. 
But  as  it  may  be,  that  God  will  suffer  us  to  live  a  while 
here  upon  earth,  so  may  it  be,  that  he  will  throw  us 
into  that  dungeon  beneath,  before  the  time  that  the 
Turk  shall  once  ask  us  the  question.  And  therefore  if 
we  fear  imprisonment  so  sore,  we  be  much  more  than 
mad  if  we  fear  not  most  the  far  more  sore.  For  out  of 
that  prison  shall  no  man  never  get,  and  in  this  other  shall 
no  man  abide  but  a  while.  In  prison  was  Joseph,  while 
his  brethren  were  at  large,  and  yet  after  were  his  bre 
thren  fain  to  seek  upon  him  for  bread.f  In  prison  was 
Daniel,  and  the  wild  lions  about  him  :J  and  yet  even 
there  God  kept  him  harmless,  and  brought  him  safe  out 
again.  If  we  think,  that  he  will  not  do  the  like  for  us, 
*  1  Cor.  x.  t  Gen.  xxxix.  et  xlii.  J  Daniel  vi. 


let  us  not  doubt  but  he  will  do  for  us  either  the  like,  or 
better.  For  better  may  he  do  for  us,  if  he  suffer  us 
there  to  die. 

St.  John  the  Baptist  was,  ye  wot  well,  in  prison,*1  while 
Herod  and  Herodias  sat  full  merry  at  the  feast,  and  the 
daughter  of  Herodias  delighted  them  with  her  dancing, 
till  with  her  dancing  she  danced  off  St.  John's  head.  And 
now  sitteth  he  with  great  feast  in  heaven  at  God's  board, 
while  Herod  and  Herodias  full  heavily  sit  in  hell  burning 
both  twain,  and  to  make  them  sport  withal,  the  devil 
Won  suet)  with  the  damsel  dance  in  the  fire  afore  them. 
seisCB?n?ea?«  Finally,  cousin,  to  finish  this  piece  with,  our 
men'sijea&s.  Saviour  was  himself  taken  prisoner  for  our 
sake,  and  prisoner  was  he  carried,  and  prisoner  was 
he  kept,  and  prisoner  was  he  brought  forth  before  Annas.-f- 
And  prisoner  from  Annas  carried  unto  Caiphas.  f  Then 
prisoner  was  he  carried  from  Caiphas  unto  Pilate, 
and  prisoner  was  he  sent  from  Pilate  to  king  Herod  :  § 
prisoner  from  Herod  unto  Pilate  again.  ||  And  so  kept  as 
prisoner  to  the  end  of  his  passion.  The  time  of  his 
imprisonment,  I  grant  well,  was  not  long  ;  but  as  for 
hard  handling  (which  our  hearts  most  abhor)  he  had  as 
much  in  that  short  while,  as  many  men  among  them  all 
in  much  longer  time.  And  surely  then,  if  we  consider  of 
what  estate  he  was,  and  therewith  that  he  was  prisoner  in 
such  wise  for  our  sake,  we  shall  I  trow  (but  if  we  be  worse 
than  wretched  beasts)  never  so  shamefully  play  the 
unkind  cowards,  as  for  fear  of  imprisonment  sinfully  to 
forsake  him;  nor  so  foolish  neither,  as  by  forsaking  of 
him,  to  give  him  the  occasion  again  to  forsake  us,  arid 

with  the  avoiding  of  an  easier  prison,  fall  into 
C5reat  foils  to  i   •     A      j     *  •  .1 

fleeing  an  easi    a  worse,  and  instead  or  a  prison  that  cannot 

keep  us  long,  fall  into  that  prison,  out  of  which 

son,  o       nto 

stoorseanoa     we  can  never  come,  whereas  the  short  impri- 

loiiQcr.  i  »      •  i        •        TI 

sonment  would  win  us  everlasting  liberty. 

*  Matth.  xiv.  f  Ibidem  xxvi.  J  Johan.  xviii. 

§  Luc.  xxiii.  ||  Matth.  xxvii. 



The  Fear  of  shameful  and  painful  Death. 

INCENT.  — FORSOOTH,  uncle  (our  Lord 
reward  you  therefor !)  if  we  feared  not 
farther  beside  imprisonment  the  terrible 
dart  of  shameful  and  painful  death  ;  as  for 
imprisonment,  I  would  verily  trust,  that 
remembering  those  things,  which  I  have 
here  heard  of  you,  rather  than  I  should  forsake  the  faith 
of  our  Saviour,  I  would  with  the  help  of  grace  never 
shrink  thereat.  But  now  are  we  come,  uncle,  with  much 
work  at  the  last,  unto  the  last  and  uttermost  point,  of  the 
dread  that  maketh  incursum  et  dcemonium  meridianum, — 
this  incursion  of  this  midday  devil,  this  open  invasion  of 
the  Turk,  and  his  persecution  against  the  faith,  seem  so 
terrible  unto  men's  minds,  that  although  the  respect  of 
God  vanquisheth  all  the  remnant  of  the  troubles  that  we 
have  hitherto  perused,  as  loss  of  goods,  lands  and  liberty, 
yet  when  we  remember  the  terror  of  shameful  and  painful 
death,  that  point  so  suddenly  putteth  us  in  oblivion  of  all 
that  should  be  our  comfort,  that  we  feel  (all  men  I  fear 
me  for  the  most  part)  the  fervour  of  our  faith  wax  so  cold, 
and  our  hearts  so  faint,  that  we  find  ourself  at  the  point 
to  fall  even  therefrom  for  fear. 

ANTONY. — To  this   I   say  not  nay,  cousin,  ^tsmtst 
but  that  indeed  in  this  point  is  the  sore  pinch,  pinctjtsin 
And  yet  you  see  for  all  this,  that  even  this 
point  too  taketh  increase  or  minishment  of  dread  after  the 
difference   of  the  affections   that   are   before  fixed  and 

284  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 

rooted  in  the  mind,  so  farforth,  that  you  see  some  man  set 
so  much  by  his  worldly  substance,  that  he  less  feareth  the 
loss  of  his  life  than  the  loss  of  lands :  yea  some  man 
shall  you  see  that  abideth  deadly  torment,  and  such  as 
some  other  had  lever  die  than  endure,  rather  than  he 
would  bring  out  the  money  that  he  hath  hid.  And  I 
doubt  not  but  you  have  heard  of  many  by  right  authentic 
stories,  that  (some  for  one  cause,  some  for  another)  have 
not  letted  willingly  to  suffer  death,  divers  in 
c-  divers  kinds  :  and  some  both  with  despiteful 
§mttcs"!30olso  rebuke  and  painful  torment  too.  And  therefore, 
as  I  say,  we  may  see,  that  the  affection  of  the 
mind  toward  the  increase  or  decrease  of  dread,  maketh 
much  of  the  matter. 

Now  are  the  affections  of  men's  minds  imprinted  by 
affections  divers  means.  One  way,  by  the  mean  of  the 
an?so5es?e£  bodily  senses  moved  by  such  things,  pleasant 
sonatieanu  or  displeasant,  as  are  outwardly  through  sensi 
ble  worldly  things  offered  and  objected  unto 
them.  And  this  manner  of  receiving  the  impression  of 
affections  is  common  unto  men  and  beasts.  Another 
manner  of  receiving  affections,  is  by  the  mean  of  reason, 
which  both  ordinately  tempereth  those  affections,  that  the 
bodily  five  wits  imprint,  and  also  disposeth  a  man  many 
times  to  some  spiritual  virtues,  very  contrary  to  those 
affections  that  are  fleshly  and  sensual.  And  those  reason 
able  dispositions  be  affections  spiritual  and  proper  to 
the  nature  of  man,  and  above  the  nature  of  beasts. 
Now  as  our  ghostly  enemy  the  devil  enforceth  himself 
to  make  us  lean  to  the  sensual  affections  and  beastly; 

„    u        so  doth  Almighty  God  of  his  goodness  by  his 
4Gr00u  motions      TT    ,     0    .  .     .  °     /  1        °  .  .  ,-'      .  , 

from<&o&,  ann   Holy  Spirit  inspire  us  good  motions,  with  aid 

and  help  of  his  grace,  toward  the  other  affec 
tions  spiritual,  and  by  sundry  means  instructeth  our  rea 
son  to  lean  unto  them,  and  not  only  to  receive  them  as 
engendered  and  planted  in  our  soul,  but  also  in  such 
Hotc  H)is  nccp  w^se  water  them  with  the  wise  advertisement  of 

motnitp,  ana     godly  counsel  and  continual  prayer,  that  they 
tt)e  fruit  of  con-    &        J,       ,     ,  .  *      J,  ,      ,    i  J 

tmuai prascr,     may  be  habitually  radicate,   and  surely  take 

deep   root    therein.      And,   after  as  the  one 


kind  of  affection  or  the  other  beareth  the  strength  in  our 
heart,  so  be  we  stronger  or  feebler  against  the  terror  of 
death  in  this  cause.  And  therefore  will  we,  cousin,  essay 
to  consider,  what  things  there  are  for  which  we  have  cause 
in  reason  to  master  that  affection  fearful  and  sensual : 
and  though  we  cannot  clean  avoid  it  and  put  it  away,  yet 
in  such  wise  to  bridle  it  at  the  least  that  it  run  not  out  so 
far,  like  an  headstrong  horse,  that  spite  of  our  teeth  it 
carry  us  out  unto  the  devil.  Let  us  therefore  now  consi 
der  and  weigh  well  this  thing  that  we  dread  so  sore,  that 
is  to  wit,  shameful  and  painful  death. 


Of  Death,  considered  by  himself  alone,  as  a  bare  leaving  of 
this  life  only. 

ND  first,  I  perceive  well  by  these  two 
things  that  you  join  unto  death,  that  is  to 
wit,  shameful  and  painful ;  you  would 
esteem  death  so  much  the  less,  if  he  should 
come  alone  without  either  shame  or  pain. 

VINCENT. — Without  doubt,  uncle,  a  great 
deal  the  less.  But  yet  though  he  should  come  without 
them  both  by  himself;  whatsoever  I  would,  I  wot  well, 
many  a  man  would  be  for  all  that,  very  loath  to  die. 

ANTONY. — That  I  believe  well,  cousin,  and  the  more 
pity  it  is.     For  that  affection  happeth  in  very  Cfim  Iacfeg 
few,  but  that  either  the  cause  is  lack  of  faith,  matte  men  loatf) 
lack  of  hope,  or  finally  lack  of  wit.     They  that  to  *ic' 


believe  not  the  life  to  come  after  this,  and  ween  themself 
herein  wealth,  are  loath  to  leave  this ;  for  then  they  think 
they  lose  all.  And  thereof  cometh  the  manifold  foolish 
unfaithful  words,  which  are  so  rife  in  over  many  men's 
mouths,  This  world  we  know,  and  the  other  we 
ScatJenlsJ lanS  hnow  not,  and  that  some  say  in  sport,  and  think 
tnfiere  sue*  in  earnest,  The  devil  is  not  so  black  as  he  is 
painted ,  and,  Let  him  be  as  black  as  he  ivill, 
he  is  no  blacker  than  a  crow,  with  many  other  such  foolish 
phantasies  of  the  same  sort. 

Some  that  believe  well  enough,  yet  through  the  lewd- 
ness  of  living,  fall  out  of  good  hope  of  salvation,  and  then 
though  they  be  loath  to  die,  I  very  little  marvel.  Howbeit, 
some  that  purpose  to  mend,  and  would  fain  have  some 
time  left  them  longer  to  bestow  somewhat  better,  may 
peradventure  be  loath  to  die  also  by-and-by.  And  that 
©ooo-  toiiitome  manner  loathness  (albeit  a  very  good  will  gladly 
meritorious.  to  die,  and  to  be  with  God,  were  in  my  mind  so 
thankful  that  it  were  well  able  to  purchase  as  full  remis 
sion  both  of  sin  and  pain,  as  peradventure  he  were  like  if 
he  lived  to  purchase  in  many  years'  penance),  yet  will  I 
Some  loatfjnrss  not  say,  but  that  such  kind  of  loathness  to  die 
tomeaiiotoaoie.  may  be  before  God  allowable.  Some  are  there 
also,  that  are  loath  to  die,  that  are  yet  very  glad  to  die, 
and  long  for  to  be  dead. 

VINCENT. — That  were,  uncle,  a  very  strange  case. 

ANTONY. — The  case,  I  fear  me,  cousin,  falleth  not  very 
often,  but  yet  sometime  it  doth.  As  where  there  is  any 
man  of  that  good  mind  as  St.  Paul  was,  which  for  the 
longing  that  he  had  to  be  with  God,  would  fain  have  been 
dead,  but  for  the  profit  of  other  folk  was  content  to  live 
here  in  pain,  and  defer  and  forbear  for  the  while  his  ines 
timable  bliss  in  heaven.  Desiderium  habens  dissolvi  et 
esse  cum  Christo,  multo  magis  melius :  Permanere  autem 
in  carne,  necessarium  propter  vos*  But  of  all  these  kinds 
of  folk,  cousin,  that  are  loath  to  die  (except  the  first  kind 
only  that  lacketh  faith),  there  is,  I  suppose,  none  but  that 
except  the  fear  of  shame,  or  sharp  pain  joined  unto  death, 
should  be  the  lot,  would  else  for  the  bare  respect  of  death 
*  Philip,  i. 


alone,  let  to  depart  hence  with  good  will  in  this  case  of 
the  faith,  well  witting  by  his  faith,  that  his  death  taken  for 
the  faith  should  cleanse  him  clean  of  all  his  sins,  and 
send  him  straight  to  heaven.  And  some  of  these  (namely 
the  last  kind)  are  such,  that  shame  and  pain  both  joined 
unto  death  were  unlikely  to  make  them  loath  death,  or 
fear  death  so  sore,  but  that  they  would  suffer  death  in 
this  case  with  good  will,  sith  they  know  well  that  the 
refusing  of  the  faith  for  any  cause  in  this  world  (were  the 
cause  never  so  good  in  sight)  should  yet  sever  them  from 
God,  with  whom  (save  for  other  folks'  profit)  they  so 
fain  would  be.  And  charity  can  it  not  be,  for  the  profit 
of  the  whole  world,  deadly  to  displease  him  that  made  it. 

Some  are  there,  I  say  also,  that  are  loath  to  die  for  lack 
of  wit,  which  albeit  that  they  believe  the  world  that  is  ta 
come,  and  hope   also  to  come  thither,  yet  they  love  so 
much  the  wealth  of  this  world,  and  such  things  as  delight 
them  therein,  that  they  would  fain  keep  them  as  long  as 
ever  they  might,  even  with  tooth  and  nail.     And  when 
they  may  be  suffered  in  no  wise  to  keep  it  no  longer,  but 
that  death  taketh  them  therefrom ;  then  if  it  may  be  no 
better,  they  will  agree  to  be  (as  soon  as  they  be  hence) 
hanced  up  unto  heaven,    and  be  with  God  by-and-by. 
These  folk  are  as  very  idiot  fools,  as  he  that 
had  kept  from   his  childhood  a   bag  full  of  siidj  mots  6c 
cherrystones,  and  cast  such  a  phantasy  thereto,  n 
that  he  would  not  go  from  it,  for  a  bigger  bag  filled  full 
of  gold. 

These  folk  fare,  cousin,  as  ^Esop  telleth  in  a  fable  that 
the  snail  did.  For  when  Jupiter  (whom  the  a  ro  erfatle 
poets  feign  for  the  great  God)  invited  all  the  aninoeii  ap- e> 
poor  worms  of  the  earth  unto  a  great  solemn  Jl(el1' 
feast  that  it  pleased  him  (I  have  forgotten  upon  what 
occasion)  upon  a  time  to  prepare  for  them,  the  snail  kept 
her  at  home  and  would  not  come  thereat.  And  when 
Jupiter  asked  her  after,  wherefore  she  came  not  at  his 
feast,  where  he  said  she  should  have  been  welcome,  and 
have  fared  well,  and  should  have  seen  a  goodly  palace, 
and  been  delighted  with  many  goodly  pleasures  :  she 
answered  him,  that  she  loved  no  place  so  well  as  her  own 

288  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 

bouse.  With  which  answer  Jupiter  waxed  so  angry,  that 
he  said,  sith  she  loved  her  house  so  well,  she  should 
never  after  go  from  home,  but  should  ever  after  bear  her 
house  upon  her  back,  wheresoever  she  went.  And  so 
hath  she  done  ever  since,  as  they  say,  and  at  the  least 
wise  I  wot  well  she  doth  so  now,  and  hath  done  as  long 
time  as  I  can  remember. 

VINCENT. — Forsooth,  uncle,  I  would  ween  the  tale  were 
not  all  feigned.  For  I  think  verily,  that  so  much  of  your 
tale  is  true. 

ANTONY. — ^Esop  meant  by  that  feigned  fable  to  touch 
the  folly  of  such  folk,  as  so  set  their  phantasy  upon  some 
small  simple  pleasure,  that  they  cannot  find  in  their 
hearts  to  forbear  it,  neither  for  the  pleasure  of  a  better 
man,  nor  for  the  gaining  of  a  better  thing.  By  which 
jFrotoarir  affec-  their  fond  froward  fashion  they  sometime  fall 
t«m.  in  great  indignation,  and  take  thereby  no  little 

harm.  And  surely  such  Christian  folk  as  by  their  foolish 
affection,  which  they  have  set  like  the  snail  upon  their  own 
house  here,  this  earth,  cannot  for  the  loathness  of  leaving 
that  house,  find  in  their  heart  with  their  good  will  to  go 
to  the  great  feast  that  God  prepareth  in  heaven,  and  of 
his  goodness  so  gently  calleth  them  to,  be  like,  I  fear  me 
(but  if  they  mend  that  mind  in  time),  to  be  served  as  the 
snail  was,  and  yet  much  worse  too.  For  they  be  like  to 
©  torcfctjeu  have  their  house  here  (the  earth),  bound  fast 
snails!  upon  their  backs  for  ever,  and  not  walk  there 

with  where  they  will,  as  the  snail  creepeth  about  with 
hers,  but  lie  fast  bound  in  the  midst  with  the  foul  fire  of 
hell  about  them.  For  into  this  folly  they  bring  themself 

by   their   own    fault,    as    the    drunken    man 
IDrunfearts1  of-    ,  •>.          .      ,.         .f    .     •       ,         , 
fences  not  ei-     bnngeth    himself   into   drunkenness,  whereby 

the  evil  that  he  doth  in  his  drunkenness  is  not 
forgiven  him  for  his  folly,  but  to  his  pain  imputed  to  his 

VINCENT. — Surely,  uncle,  this  seemeth    not  unlikely, 
and  by  their  fault  they  fall    into   such   folly 

SlSUjat  follp  IS     .      ,         f          »        i  ,    -n      i   •      i         r   11       •       i         i     ii- 

tt,  to  be  toorwis  indeed.     And  yet  if  this  be  folly  indeed,  there 
are  then  some  folk  fools,  that  ween  themself 
right  wise. 


ANTONY. — That  ween  themself  wise  ?  Marry,  I  never 
saw  fool  yet  that  thought  himself  other  than  wise.  For 
as  it  is  one  spark  of  soberness  left  in  a  drunken  emitst  fools 
head,  when  he  perceiveth  himself  drunk,  and  ttftrtttjraseit 
getteth  him  fair  to  bed,  so  if  a  fool  perceive  tt 
himself  a  fool,  that  point  is  no  folly  but  a  little  spark  of 
wit.  But  now,  cousin,  as  for  those  kind  of  fools,  sith 
they  be  loath  to  die  for  the  love  that  they  bear  to  their 
worldly  phantasies,  which  they  should  by  their  death 
leave  behind  them  and  forsake  ;  they  that  would  for  that 
cause  rather  forsake  the  faith  than  die,  would  rather  for 
sake  it  than  lose  their  worldly  goods,  though  there  were 
offered  them  no  peril  of  death  at  all.  And  then  as  touch 
ing  those  that  are  of  that  mind,  we  have,  you  wot  well, 
said  as  much  as  yourself  thought  sufficient  this  afternoon 
here  before. 

VINCENT. — Verily,  that  is,  uncle,  very  true  :  and  now 
have  you  rehearsed,  as  far  as  I  can  remember,  all  the 
other  kinds  of  them  that  would  be  loath  to  die  for  any 
other  respect,  than  the  grievous  qualities  of  shame  and 
pain  joined  unto  death.  And  of  all  those  kinds,  except 
the  kind  of  infidelity,  whom  no  comfort  can  help,  but 
counsel  only  to  the  attaining  of  faith,  which  faith  must  be 
to  the  receiving  of  comfort  presupposed  and  made  ready 
before,  as  you  shewed  in  the  beginning  of  our  communi 
cation  the  first  day  that  we  talked  of  the  matter;  but 
else,  I  say,  except  that  one  kind,  there  is  none  of  the 
remnant  of  those  that  were  before  untouched,  which  were 
likely  to  forsake  their  faith  in  this  persecution  for  the 
fear  and  dread  of  death,  save  for  those  grievous  qualities 
(pain  I  mean,  and  shame),  that  they  see  well  would  come 
therewith.  And  therefore,  uncle,  I  pray  you  give  us  some 
comfort  against  those  twain.  For  in  good  faith,  if  death 
should  come  without  them  in  such  a  case  as  this  is,  where 
by  the  losing  of  this  life  we  should  find  a  far  better : 
mine  own  reason  giveth  me,  that  save  for  the  other  griefs 
going  before  the  change,  there  would  no  man  that  wit 
hath,  any  thing  stick  at  all. 

ANTONY.  —  Yes  (peradventure)   suddenly  before  they 
gather  their  wits  unto  them,  and  therefore  well  weigh  the 


matter.  But  they,  cousin,  that  will  consider  the  matter 
well,  reason  grounded  upon  the  foundation  of  faith,  shall 
shew  them  very  great  substantial  causes,  for  which  the 
dread  of  those  grievous  qualities  that  they  see  shall  come 
with  death  (shame,  I  mean,  and  pain  also)  shall  not  so 
sore  abash  them,  as  sinfully  to  drive  them  therefrom. 
For  the  proof  whereof  let  us  first  begin  at  the  considera 
tion  of  the  shame. 


Of  the  Shame  that  is  joined  with  the  Death  in  the  Perse 
cution  for  the  Faith. 

can  any  faithful  wise  man  dread  the 
death  so  sore  for  any  respect  of  shame, 
when  his  reason  and  his  faith  together  may 
shortly  make  him  perceive,  that  there  is 
therein  no  piece  of  very  shame  at.  all  ?  For 
how  can  that  death  be  shameful  that  is 
Co  me  so  no  gl°ri°us?  Or  how  can  it  be  but  glorious  to 
die  for  the  faith  of  Christ  (if  we  die  both  for 
the  faith,  and  in  the  faith  joined  with  hope 
an(*  cnarity)>  while  the  Scripture  so  plainly 
saith,  Pretiosa  in  conspectu  Domini  mors  sanc 
torum  ejus,—  Precious  is  in  the  sight  of  God,  the  death  of 
his  saints.*  Now  if  the  death  of  his  saints  be  glorious 
in  the  sight  of  God,  it  can  never  be  shameful  in  very  deed, 
how  shameful  so  ever  it  seem  here  in  the  sight  of  men. 
For  here  we  may  see  and  be  sure,  that  not  at  the  death  of 

*  Psal,  cxv. 


St.  Stephen  only  *  (to  whom  it  liked  him  to  shew  himself 
with  the  heaven  open  over  his  head)  but  at  the  death  also 
of  every  man  that  so  dieth  for  the  faith,  God  with  his 
heavenly  company  beholdeth  his  whole  passion,  and  verily 
looketh  on.-f- 

Now  if  it  so  were,  cousin,  that  you  should  be  brought 
through  the  broad  high  street  of  a  great  long  a  gooftlj?  com=, 
city,  and  that  all  along  the  way  that  you  were  9«ison. 
going,  there  were  on  the  one  side  of  the  way  a  rabble  of 
ragged  beggars  and  madmen  that  would  despise  you  and 
dispraise  you  with  all  the  shameful  names  that  they  could 
call  you,  and  all  the  villanous  words  that  they  could  say 
to  you :  and  that  there  were  then  along  the  other  side  of 
the  same  street  where  you  should  come  by  a  goodly 
company  standing  in  a  fair  range,  a  row  of  wise  and 
worshipful  folk,  allowing  and  commending  you,  more 
than  fifteen  times  as  many  as  that  rabble  of  ragged 
beggars  and  railing  madmen  are  :  would  you  let  your  way 
by  your  will,  weening  that  you  went  unto 
your  shame  for  the  shameful  jesting  and  rail- 
ing  of  those  mad  foolish  wretches,  "or  hold  on 
your  way  with  a  good  cheer  and  a  glad  heart, 
thinking  yourself  much  honoured  by  the  laud 
and  approbation  of  that  other  honourable  sort? 

VINCENT.  —  Nay  by  my  troth,  uncle,  there  is  no  doubt, 
but  I  would  much  regard  the  commendation  of  those 
commendable  folk,  and  not  regard  of  a  rush  the  railing  of 
all  these  ribalds. 

ANTONY. — Then,  cousin,  can  there  no  man  that  hath 
faith,  account  himself  shamed  here  by  any  manner  death 
that  he  suffereth  for  the  faith  of  Christ,  while  how  vile 
and  how  shameful  soever  it  seem  in  the  sight  here  of  a 
few  worldly  wretches,  it  is  allowed  and  approved  for  very 
precious  and  honourable  in  the  sight  of  God,  and  all  the 
glorious  company  of  heaven,  which  as  perfectly  stand  and 
behold  it,  as  these  peevish  people  do,  and  are  in  number 
more  than  an  hundred  to  one :  and  of  that  hundred, 
every  one  an  hundred  times  more  to  be  regarded  and 
esteemed,  than  of  the  other  an  hundred  such  whole 
*  Act.  vii.  f  1  Cor.  iv. 

u  2 


rabbles.  And  now  if  a  man  would  be  so  mad,  as  for  fear 
of  the  rebuke  that  he  should  have  of  such  rebukeful  beasts, 
he  would  be  ashamed  to  confess  the  faith  of  Christ :  then 
with  fleeing  from  a  shadow  of  shame,  he  should  fall  into  a 
very  shame  and  a  deadly  painful  shame  indeed.  For  then 
hath  our  Saviour  made  a  sure  promise,  that  he  will  shew 
himself  ashamed  of  that  man  before  the  Father  of  Heaven 
and  all  his  holy  angels,  saying  :  Qui  me  erubuerit  et  meos 
sermones,  hunc  Filius  Hominis  erubescet,  quum  venerit  in 
majestate  sua,  et  Patris,  et  sanctorum  Angelorum ; — He  that 
is  ashamed  of  me  and  my  words,  of  him  shall  the  Son  of 
Man  be  ashamed,  when  he  shall  come  in  the  majesty  of 
himself,  and  of  his  Father,  and  of  the  holy  Angels.*  And 
what  manner  a  shameful  shame  shall  that  be 
e  ^en  '  ^  a  man's  cheeks  glow  sometimes  for 
shame  in  this  world,  they  will  fall  on  fire  for 
shame  when  Christ  shall  shew  himself  ashamed  of  them 

To  suffer  the  tiling  for  Christ's  faith,  that  we  worldly 
wretched  fools  ween  were  villany  and  shame,  the  blessed 
Apostles  reckoned  for  great  glory.  For  they,  when  they 
were  with  despite  and  shame  scourged,  and  thereupon 
commanded  to  speak  no  more  of  the  name  of  Christ,  went 
their  way  from  the  council  joyful  and  glad  that  God  had 
vouchsafed  to  do  them  the  worship,  to  suffer  shameful 
despite  for  the  name  of  Jesu.  And  so  proud  were  they 
of  that  shame  and  villaftous  pain  put  unto  them,  that  for 
all  the  forbidding  of  that  great  council  assembled,  they 
ceased  not  every  day  to  preach  out  the  name  of  Jesu 
still,  not  in  the  Temple  only,  out  of  which  they  were  fet 
and  whipped  for  the  same  before,  but  also  to  double  it 
with,  went  preaching  that  name  about  from  house  to 
house  too. 

J  would,  sith  we  regard  so  greatly  the  estimation  of 
worldly  folk,  we  would  among  many  naughty  things  that 
they  use,  regard  also  some  such  as  are  good.  For  it  is  a 
another  coin-  manner  among  them  in  many  places,  that  some 
parisnn.  by  handicraft,  some  by  merchandise,  some  by 

other  kind  of  living,  rise  and  come  forward  in  the  world. 
*  Luc.  is. 


And  commonly  folk  are  in  youth  set  forth  to  convenient 
masters,  under  whom  they  be  brought  up  and  grow.  But 
now  whensoever  they  find  a  servant  such,  as  disdaineth  to 
do  such  things  as  he,  that  his  master,  did  while  he  was 
servant  himself;  that  servant  every  man  accounteth  for 
a  proud  unthrift,  never  like  to  come  to  good  proof.  Let 
us  so  mark  and  consider  this,  and  weigh  well  therewithal, 
that  our  master  Christ,  not  the  master  only,  but  the 
maker  too  of  all  this  whole  world,  was  not  so  proud  to 
disdain  for  our  sakes  the  most  villanous  and  most  shame 
ful  death  after  the  worldly  account  that  then  was  used  in 
the  world,  and  the  most  despiteful  mocking  therewith 
joined  to  most  grievous  pain,  as  crowning  him  with  sharp 
thorns  that  the  blood  ran  down  about  his  face :  then  they 
gave  him  a  reed  in  his  hand  for  a  sceptre,  and  kneeled 
down  to  him,  and  saluted  him  like  a  king  in  scorn,  and 
beat  then  the  reed  upon  the  sharp  thorns  about  his  holy 
head.  Now  saith  our  Saviour,  that  the  disciple  or  ser 
vant  is  not  above  his  Master.*  And  therefore  sith  our 
Master  endured  so  many  kinds  of  painful  shame,  very 
proud  beasts  may  we  well  think  ourself,  if  we  disdain  to 
do  as  our  Master  did:  and  whereas  he  through  shame 
ascended  into  glory,f  we  would  be  so  mad,  that  we  rather 
will  fall  into  everlasting  shame,  both  before  heaven  and 
hell,  than  for  fear  of  a  short  worldly  shame,  to  follow  him 
into  everlasting  glory. 

*  Luc.  vi.  t  Johan.  xiii. 



Of  painful  Death  to  be  suffered  in  the  Turk's  Persecution 
for  the  Faith. 

INCENT.— IN  good  faith,  uncle,  as  for  the 
shame,  ye  shall  need  to  take  no  more 
pain.  For  I  suppose  surely,  that  any  man 
that  hath  reason  in  his  head  shall  hold 
himself  satisfied  with  this.  But  of  truth, 
uncle,  all  the  pinch  is  in  the  pain.  For  as 
for  shame,  I  perceive  well  now,  a  man  may  with  wisdom 
so  master  it,  that  it  shall  nothing  move  him  at  all,  so  far- 
forth,  that  it  is  almost  in  every  country  become  a  common 
proverb,  that  shame  is  as  it  is  taken.  But  by  God, 
uncle,  all  the  wisdom  in  this  world  can  never  so  master 
pain,  but  that  pain  will  be  painful,  spite  of  all  the  wit  in 
this  world. 

ANTONY. — Truth  is  it,  cousin,  that  no  man  can  with  all 
the  reason  he  hath,  in  such  wise  change  the  nature  of 
pain,  that  in  the  having  of  pain  he  feel  it  not.  For,  but 
ifcotopain  is  no  if  it  be  felt,  it  is  pardie,  no  pain.  And  that  is 
pa(n-  the  natural  cause,  cousin,  for  which  a  man  may 

have  his  leg  stricken  off  by  the  knee  and  grieve  him  not, 
if  his  head  be  off  but  half  an  hour  before.  But  reason 
may  make  a  reasonable  man  (though  he  would  not  be  so 
foolish  as  causeless  to  fall  therein)  yet  upon  good  causes, 
either  of  gaining  some  kind  of  great  profit,  or  avoiding 
some  kind  of  great  loss,  or  eschewing  thereby  the  suffer 
ing  of  far  greater  pain,  not  to  shrink  therefrom,  and 
refuse  it  to  his  more  hurt  and  harm,  but  for  his  far 
greater  advantage  and  commodity,  content  and  glad  to 


sustain  it.  And  this  doth  reason  alone  in  many  cases, 
where  it  hath  much  less  help  to  take  hold  of,  than  it  hath 
in  this  matter  of  faith.  For  well  you  wot,  to  take  a  sour 
and  a  bitter  potion  is  great  grief  and  displeasure,  and  to 
be  lanced  and  to  have  the  flesh  cut  is  no  little  pain.  Now 
when  such  things  shall  be  ministered  unto  a  child,  or  to 
some  childish  man  either,  they  will  by  their  own  wills 
rather  let  their  sickness  or  their  sore  grow  on  to  their 
more  grief  till  it  become  incurable,  than  abide  the  pain  of 
the  cutting  in  time,  and  that  for  faint  heart,  joined  with 
lack  of  discretion.  But  a  man  that  hath  more  wisdom, 
though  he  would  without  cause  no  more  abide  the  pain 
willingly,  than  would  the  other :  yet  sith  reason  sheweth 
him  what  good  he  shall  have  by  the  suffering,  and  what 
harm  by  the  refusing,  this  maketh  him  well  content,  and 
glad  also  to  take  it. 

Now  then,  if  reason  alone  be  sufficient  to  move  a  man  to 
take  pain  for  the  gaining  of  some  worldly  rest  or  pleasure, 
and  for  the  avoiding  of  another  pain,  though  peradven- 
ture  more,  yet  durable  but  for  a  short  season  :  why  should 
not  reason  grounded  upon  the  sure  foundation  of  faith, 
and  holpen  also  forward  with  aid  of  God's  grace  (as  it  is 
ever  ready  undoubtedly,  when  folk  for  a  good  mind  in 
God's  name  common  together  thereon,  our  Saviour  saying 
himself:  Ubi  sunt  duo  vel  tres  congregati  in  nomine  meo, 
ibi  et  ego  sum  in  media  eorum, — Where  there  are  two  or 
three  gathered  together  in  my  name,  there  am  I  also  even 
in  the  very  midst  of  them  *),  why  should  not  then  reason, 
I  say,  thus  furthered  with  faith  and  grace,  be  Keag(m  fan  fto 
much  more  able  to  engender  in  us  first  such  mud)  tp  tatttj 
an  affection,  and  after  by  long  and  deep  medi 
tation  thereof,  so  to  continue  that  affection,  that  it  shall 
turn  into  an  habitual  fast  and  deep-rooted  purpose  of 
patient  suffering  the  painful  death  of  this  body  here  in 
earth,  for  the  gaining  of  everlasting  wealthy  life  in  heaven, 
and  avoiding  of  everlasting  painful  death  in  hell  ? 

VINCENT. — By  my  troth,  uncle,  words  can  I  none  find 
that  should  have  any  reason  with  them  (faith  alway  pre 
supposed,  as  you  protested  in  the  beginning  for  a  ground), 
*  Matth.  xviii. 


words,  I  say,  can  I  none  find,  wherewith  I  might  reason 
ably  counterplead  this  that  you  have  said  here  already. 
But  yet  I  remember  the  fable  that  .ZEsop 
telleth  of  a  great  old  hart  that  had  fled  from  a 
little  bitch,  which  had  made  sure  after  him,  and  chased 
him  so  long  that  she  had  lost  him,  and  as  he  hoped,  more 
than  half  given  him  over.  By  occasion  thereof,  having  then 
some  time  to  talk,  and  meeting  with  another  of  his  fel 
lows,  he  fell  in  deliberation  with  him,  what  were  best  for 
him  to  do,  whether  to  fun  on  still  and  flee  farther  from 
her,  or  turn  again  and  fight  with  her.  Whereunto  the 
other  hart  advised  him  to  flee  no  farther  lest  the  bitch 
might  hap  to  find  him  again  at  such  time,  as  he  should 
with  the  labour  of  farther  fleeing  be  fallen  out  of  breath 
and  thereby  all  out  of  strength  too,  and  so  should  he  be 
killed  lying  where  he  could  not  stir  him,  whereas  if  he 
would  turn  and  fight  he  were  in  no  peril  at  all.  For  the 
man  with  whom  she  hunteth  is  more  than  a  mile  behind 
her,  and  she  is  but  a  little  body  scant  half  so  much  as 
thou,  and  thy  horns  may  thrust  her  through  before  she  can 
touch  thy  flesh  by  more  than  ten  times  her  tooth  length. 
Now  by  my  troth,  quod  the  other  hart,  I  like  your 
counsel  well,  and  methink  that  the  thing  is  even  soothly 
such  as  you  say.  But  I  fear  me,  when  I  hear  once  that 
urchin  bitch  bark,  I  shall  fall  to  my  feet  and  forget  alto 
gether.  But  yet  an  you  will  go  back  with  me,  then 
methink  we  shall  be  strong  enough  against  that  one 
bitch,  between  us  both.  Whereunto  the  other  hart  agreed, 
and  so  they  both  appointed  them  thereon.  (Here  it  must 
ttn  n  be  known  of  some  man  that  can  skill  of  hunt 
ing,  whether  that  we  mistake  not  our  terms. 
For  then  are  we  utterly  ashamed,  ye  wot  well.  And  I  am 
so  conning,  that  I  cannot  tell  whether  among  them  a  bitch 
be  a  bitch  or  no,  but  as  I  remember,  she  is  no  bitch,  but  a 
brach.  This  is  an  high  point  in  a  low  house.  Beware  of 
barking,  for  there  lacketh  another  hunting  term.  At  a  fox 
it  is  called  crying.  I  wot  not  what  they  call  it  at  an  hart, 
but  it  shall  make  no  matter.)*  But  even  as  they  were 

*  What  is  within  the  parentheses  does  not  occur  in  the  folio  edition  of  the 
author's  works. 


about  to  bask  them  forward  to  it,  the  bitch  had  found  the 
foot  again,  and  on  she  came  yearning  toward  the  place. 
Whom  as  soon  as  the  harts  heard,  they  go  to  both  twain 
apace.  And  in  good  faith,  uncle,  even  so  I  fear  me,  it 
would  fare  by  myself  and  many  other  too,  which  <§reat  darts  flee 
though  we  think  it  reason  that  you  say,  and  in  fwt«atitcf). 
our  minds  agree  that  we  should  do  as  you  say,  yea  and  do 
peradventure  think  also,  that  we  would  indeed  do  as  you 
say:  yet  as  soon  as  we  should  once  hear  these  hell 
hounds,  these  Turks  come  yelping  and  bawling  upon  us, 
our  hearts  should  soon  fall  as  clean  from  us,  as  those  other 
harts  flee  from  the  hounds. 

ANTONY. — Cousin,  in  those  days  that  ^Esop  speaketh 
of,  though  those  harts  and  other  brute  beasts  more,  had  (if 
he  say  sooth)  the  power  to  speak  and  talk,  and  in  their  talk 
ing,  power  to  talk  reason  too  :  yet  to  follow  reason,  and  rule 
theinself  thereby,  thereto  had  they  never  given  them  the 
power.     And  in  good  faith,  cousin,  as  for  such  things  as 
pertain  towards    the  conducting   of  reasonable   men  to 
salvation,  I  think  without  the  help  of  grace,  aeason  toit*flttt 
men's  reasoning  shall  do  little  more.     But  then   grace  can  &o 
are  we  sure,  as  I  said  afore,  that  as  for  grace, 
if  we  desire  it,  God  is  at  such  reasoning  alway  <Sracetseber 
present,  and  very  ready  to  give  it :  and  but  if  r 
that  men  will  afterward  willingly  cast  it  away,  he  is  ever 
still  as  ready  to  keep  it,  and  from  time  to  time  glad  to 
increase  it.     And  therefore  biddeth  us  our  Lord  by  the 
mouth  of  the  prophet,  that  we  should  not  be 
like  such  brutish  and  unreasonable  beasts,  as  msiSSfe^ana 
were  those  harts,  and  as  are  horses  and  mules.  5?astsUtfs* 
Nolite  fieri  sicut  equus  et  mulus,  quibus  non  est 
intellectus, — Be  not  like  a  horse  and  a  mule,  that  hath  no 

And  therefore,  cousin,  let  us  never  dread  but  that  if  we 
will  apply  our  minds  to  the  gathering  of  comfort  and 
courage  against  such  persecutions,  and  hear  reason,  and 
let  it  sink  into  our  heart,  and  call  it  not  out  again,  vomit  it 
not  up,  nor  even  there  choke  it  up  and  stifle  it  an  Eim  sur(e(t 
with  pampering  in  and  stuffing  up  our  stomachs 

*  Psal.  xxxi. 

298  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 

with  a  surfeit  of  worldly  vanities :  God  shall  so  well 
work  therewith,  that  we  shall  find  great  strength  therein, 
and  not  in  such  wise  have  all  such  shameful  coward- 
ous  hearts,  as  to  forsake  our  Saviour,  and  thereby  lose 
our  own  salvation,  and  run  into  eternal  fire,  for  fear  of 
death  joined  therewith,  though  bitter  and  sharp,  yet  short 
for  all  that,  and  in  a  manner  a  momentary  pain. 

VINCENT. — Every  man,  uncle,  naturally  grudgeth  at 
pain,  and  is  very  loath  to  come  to  it. 

ANTONY. — That  is  very  truth,  nor  no  man  biddeth  any 
man  to  go  run  into  it.  But  that  if  he  be  taken,  and  may 
not  flee,  then  we  say  that  reason  plainly  telleth  us,  that  we 
should  rather  suffer  and  endure  the  loss  and  the  shorter 
here,  than  in  hell  the  sorer,  and  so  far  the  longer  too. 

VINCENT. — I  heard,  uncle,  of  late,  where  such  a  reason 
was  made,  as  you  make  me  now,  which  reason  seemeth 
undoubted  and  inevitable  unto  me :  yet  heard  I  late,  as  I 
say,  a  man  answer  it  thus.  He  said,  that  if  a  man  in  his 
persecution  should  stand  still  in  the  confession  of  his 

faith,  and  thereby  fall  into  painful  tormentry, 
Sn  objection,    i          •    i  ,  j         ,          i_^,i_i_ 

he  might  peradventure  hap  for  the  sharpness 

and  bitterness  of  the  pain,  to  forsake  the  Saviour  even  in 
the  midst,  and  die  there  with  his  sin,  and  so  be  damned 
for  ever ;  whereas  by  the  forsaking  of  the  faith  in  the 
beginning  betime,  and  for  the  time,  and  yet  not  but  in 
word  neither,  keeping  it  still  nevertheless  in  his  heart,  a 
man  may  save  himself  from  that  painful  death,  and  after 
ask  mercy,  and  have  it,  and  live  long,  and  do  many  good 
deeds,  and  be  saved  as  St.  Peter  was. 

ANTONY. — That  man's  reason,  cousin,  is  like  a  three- 
a  totterin  footed  stool,  so  tottering  on  every  side,  that 
stool  tfiat  mans  whoso  sit  thereon  may  soon  take  a  foul  fall. 
loto>  For  those  are  the  three  feet  of  this  tottering 
stool :  fantastical  fear,  false  faith,  false  flattering  hope. 
Fantastical  First,  this  is  a  fantastical  fear,  that  the  man 
fear.  conceiveth  that  it  should  be  perilous  to  stand 

in  the  confession  of  the  beginning,  lest  he  might  after 
wards  through  the  bitterness  of  pain  fall  to  the  forsaking, 
and  so  die  there  in  the  pain  therewith  out  of  hand,  and 
thereby  be  utterly  damned :  as  though  that,  if  a  man  by 


pain  were  overcome,  and  so  forsook  his  faith,  God  could 
not,  or  would  not,  as  well  give  him  grace  to  repent  again, 
and  thereupon  give  him  forgiveness,  as  him  that  forsook 
his  faith  in  the  beginning,  and  did  set  so  little  by  him, 
that  he  would  rather  forsake  him  than  suffer  for  his  sake 
any  manner  pain  at  all :  as  though  the  more  pain  that  a 
man  taketh  for  God's  sake,  the  worse  would  God  be  to 
him.  If  this  reason  were  not  unreasonable,  then  should 
our  Saviour  not  have  said,  as  he  did  :  Nolite  timere  eos 
qui  occidunt  corpus,  et  post  hcec  non  habent  amplius  quid 
faciant, — Fear  not  them  that  may  kill  the  body,  and  after 
that  have  nothing  that  they  can  do  farther.*  For  he  should 
by  this  reason  have  said  :  Dread  and  fear  them  that  may 
slay  the  body  ;  for  they  may  by  the  torment  of  painful 
death  (but  if  thou  forsake  me  betimes  in  the  beginning 
and  so  save  thy  life,  and  get  of  me  thy  pardon  and  for 
giveness  after)  make  thee  peradventure  forsake  me  too 
late,  and  so  be  damned  for  ever.  The  second  foot  of 
this  tottering  stool,  is  a  false  faith.  For  it  is  jpaiseanu 
but  a  feigned  faith  for  a  man  to  say  to  God  fe'flnrtl  fa(t$- 
secretly  that  he  believeth  him,  trusteth  him,  and  loveth 
him ;  and  then  openly,  where  he  should  to  God's  honour 
tell  the  same  tale,  and  thereby  prove  that  he  doth  so, 
there  to  God's  dishonour  (as  much  as  in  him  is)  flatter 
God's  enemies,  and  do  them  pleasure  and  worldly  wor 
ship,  with  the  forsaking  of  God's  faith  before  the  world  : 
and  he  is  either  faithless  in  his  heart  too,  or  else  wotteth 
well  that  he  doth  God  this  despite,  even  before  his  own 
face.  For  except  he  lack  faith,  he  cannot  but  know  that 
our  Lord  is  everywhere  present ;  and  while  he  so  shame 
fully  forsaketh  him,  full  angrily  looketh  on. 

The  third  part  of  this  tottering  stool,  is  false  jrajse  flatter- 
flattering  hope.  For  sith  the  thing  that  he  doth,  ina  ftope. 
when  he  forsaketh  his  faith  for  fear,  is  by  the  mouth  of  God 
(upon  the  pain  of  eternal  death)  forbidden,  though  the 
goodness  of  God  forgiveth  many  folk  the  fault,  yet  to  be 
the  bolder  in  offending  for  the  hope  of  forgiving,,  is  a  very 
false  pestilent  hope,  wherewith  a  man  flattereth  himself 
toward  his  own  destruction.     He  that  in  a  sudden  braid 
*  Luc.  xii.  Matth.  x. 

300  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 

a  latofui  dope.  ^°r  ^ear>  or  other  affection  unadvisedly  falleth, 

and  after  in  labouring  to  rise  again,  comforteth 

himself  with  hope  of  God's  gracious  forgiveness,  walketh 

in  the  ready  way  toward  his  salvation.     But  he  that,  with 

the  hope  of  God's  mercy  to  follow,  doth  encourage  him- 

a  Dangerous    self  to  sin,  and  therewith  oflfendeth  God  first  (I 

tope,  have  no  power  to  shut  the  hand  of  God  from 

giving  out  his  pardon  where  he  list,  nor  would,  if  I  could, 
but  rather  help  to  pray  therefor,  but  yet)  I  very  sore  fear, 
that  such  a  man  may  miss  the  grace  to  require  it  in  such 
effectual  wise,  as  to  have  it  granted.  Nor  I  cannot  sud 
denly  now  remember  any  sample  or  promise  expressed  in 
Holy  Scripture,  that  the  offender  in  such  a  kind  shall  have 
the  grace  offered  after  in  such  wise  to  seek  for  pardon, 
that  God  hath  (by  his  other  promises  of  remission  pro 
mised  to  the  penitents)  bound  himself  to  grant  it.  But 
this  kind  of  presumption  under  pretext  of 

^resumption,  j^^  seemeth  rather  to  draw  near  on  the  one 
side  as  despair  doth  on  the  other  side,  toward  the 
Sfn  against tjje  abominable  sin  of  blasphemy  against  the 
&oip@ijost.  Holy  Ghost.  Against  which  sin  concerning 
either  the  impossibility,  or,  at  the  least,  the  great  diffi 
culty  of  forgiveness,  our  Saviour  hath  shewed  himself  in 
the  twelfth  chapter  of  St.  Matthew,  and  in  the  third  of 
St.  Mark,  where  he  saith,  that  blasphemy  against  the 
Holy  Ghost  shall  never  be  forgiven,  neither  in  this  world, 
nor  in  the  world  to  come.* 

©f  £>t  Jeter's  ^n^  wnere  the  man  that  you  spake  of,  took 
fan  ana  rising  in  his  reason  a  sample  of  St.  Peter  which  for 
sook  our  Saviour,  and  gat  forgiveness  after; 
let  him  consider  again  on  the  other  side,  that  he  forsook 
him  not  upon  the  boldness  of  any  such  sinful  trust,  but 
was  overcome  and  vanquished  upon  a  sudden  fear.  And 
yet  by  that  forsaking  St.  Peter  wan  but  little.  For  he  did 
but  delay  his  trouble  for  a  little  while,  you  wot  well.  For 
beside  that  he  repented  forthwith  very  sore  that  he  so 
had  done,  and  wept  therefor  by-and-by  full  bitterly,  he 
came  forth  at  the  Whitsuntide  ensuing,  and  confessed 
his  Master  again,*)*  and  soon  after  that  he  was  imprisoned 
*  Matth.  xii.  Marc.  iii.  f  Act.  ii. 


therefor :  and  not  ceasing;  so,  was  thereupon  scourged 
for  the  confession  of  his  faith,  and  yet  after  that  impri 
soned  again  afresh ;  and  being  from  thence  delivered, 
stinted  not  to  preach  on  still,  until  that  after  manifold 
labours,  marvels,  and  troubles,  he  was  at  Rome  crucified, 
and  with  cruel  torment  slain.*  And  in  likewise  I  ween,  I 
might  in  a  manner  well  warrant  that  there  shall  no 
man  (which  denieth  our  Saviour  once,  and  after  attaineth 
remission)  scape  through  that  denying,  one  penny  the 
better  cheap,  but  that  he  shall,  ere  he  come  in  heaven, 
full  surely  pay  therefor. 

VINCENT, — He  shall  peradventure,  uncle,  work  it  out 
afterward,  in  the  fruitful  works  of  penance,  prayer,  and 
almsdeeds  done  in  true  faith,  and  due  charity,  and  attain 
in  such  wise  forgiveness  well  enough. 

ANTONY. — All  his  forgiveness  goeth,  cousin,  you  see 
well,  but  by  perhaps.  But  as  it  may  be,  perhaps  yea  :  so 
it  may  be,  perhaps  nay.  And  where  is  he  then  ?  And 
yet  you  wot  well,  by  no  manner  hap  he  shall  never  hap 
finally  to  scape  from  death,  for  fear  of  which  he  forsook 
his  faith. 

VINCENT. — No,  but  he  may  die  his  natural  death,  and 
scape  that  violent  death,  and  then  he  saveth  himself 
from  much  pain,  and  so  winneth  therewith  much  ease. 
For  evermore  a  violent  death  is  painful. 

ANTONY. — Peradventure  he  shall  not  avoid  a  violent 
death  thereby.  For  God  is  without  doubt  displeased, 
and  can  bring  him  shortly  to  a  death  as  violent  by  some 
other  way.  Howbeit,  I  see  well  that  you  reckon  that 
whoso  dieth  a  natural  death,  dieth  like  a  wanton  even  all 
at  his  ease.  You  make  me  remember  a  man  that  was 
once  in  a  galley  subtle  with  us  on  the  sea, 

which  while  the  sea  was  sore  wrought,  arid  the 

i  •    i  .    ,  . 

waves  rose  very  high,  and   he  came  never  on 

the  sea  afore,  and  lay  tossed  hither  and  thither,  the  poor 
soul  groaned  sore,  and  for  pain  he  thought  he  would  very 
fain  be  dead,  and  ever  he  wished,  Would  God  I  were  on 
land,  that  I  might  .die  in  rest!  The  waves  so  troubled 
him  there,  with  tossing  him  up  and  down,  to  and  fro,  that 

*  Act.v. 

302  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 

he  thought  that  trouble  letted  him  to  die,  because  the 
waves  would  not  let  him  rest :  but  if  he  might  get  once 
to  land,  he  thought  he  should  then  die  there  even  at  his 

VINCENT. — Nay,  uncle,  this  is  no  doubt,  but  that 
death  is  to  every  man  painful.  But  yet  is  not  the 
natural  death  so  painful,  as  the  violent, 
©f  natural  ann  ANTONY. — By  my  troth,  cousin,  methinketh 
btoient  utatj).  t|iat  t[ie  death  which  men  call  commonly 
natural,  is  a  violent  death  to  every  man  whom  it  fetcheth 
hence  by  force  against  his  will,  and  that  is  every  man 
which,  when  he  dieth,  is  loath  to  die,  and  fain  would  yet 
live  longer  if  he  might.  Howbeit,  how  small  the  pain  is 
in  the  natural  death,  cousin,  fain  would  I  wit  who  hath 
told  you.  As  far  as  I  can  perceive,  those  folk  that  com 
monly  depart  of  their  natural  death,  have  ever  one 
C8e  pain  of  disease  and  sickness  or  other,  whereof  if  the 
natural  ncatf).  pajn  of  tjie  whole  Week  or  twain,  in  which  they 
lie  pining  in  their  bed,  were  gathered  together  into  short 
a  time,  as  a  man  hath  his  pain  that  dieth  a  violent  death  ; 
it  would,  I  ween,  make  double  the  pain  that  it  is.  So 
that  he  that  naturally  dieth,  ofter  suffereth  more  pain 
than  less,  though  he  suffer  it  in  a  longer  time.  And  then 
would  many  a  man  be  more  loath  to  suffer  so  long  in 
lingering  pain,  than  with  a  sharper  to  be  sooner  rid.  And 
yet  lieth  many  a  man  more  days  than  one  in  well  near  as 
great  pain  continually,  as  is  the  pain  that  with  the 
violent  death  riddeth  the  man  in  less  than  half  an  hour; 
except  a  man  would  ween  that  whereas  the  pain  is  great, 
to  have  a  knife  cut  his  flesh  in  the  outside  from  the  skin 
inward,  the  pain  would  be  much  less,  if  the  knife  might 
on  the  inside  begin,  and  cut  from  the  midst  outward. 
Some  we  hear  in  their  deathbeds  complain,  that  they 
think  they  feel  sharp  knives  cut  a-two  their  heartstrings. 
Some  cry  out  and  think  they  feel  within  the  brainpan, 
their  head  pricked  even  full  of  pins.  And  they  that  lie 
in  a  pleurisy  think  that  every  time  they  cough,  they  feel 
a  sharp  sword  swap  them  to  the  heart. 



The  consideration  of  the  Pain  of  Hell,  in  which  we  fall,  if 
we  forsake  our  Saviour,  may  make  us  set  all  the  painful 
death  of  the  world  at  right  nought. 

OWBEIT,  what  should  we  need  to  make 
any  such  comparison  between  the  natural 
death  and  the  violent?  For  the  matter 
that  we  be  in  hand  with  here  may  put  it 
out  of  doubt,  that  he  which  for  fear  of 
the  violent  death  forsaketh  the  faith  of 
Christ,  putteth  himself  in  the  peril  to  find  his  natural 
death  more  painful  a  thousand  times.  For  his  natural 
death  hath  his  everlasting  pain  so  suddenly  knit  unto  it, 
that  there  is  not  one  moment  of  an  hour  ©e  ebcriastfng 
between,  but  the  end  of  the  one  is  the  begin-  tteat* anlj  ?a'n- 
ning  of  the  other  that  after  shall  never  have  end.  And 
therefore  was  it  not  without  great  cause,  that  Christ  gave 
us  so  good  warning  before,  when  he  said  as  St.  Luke 
rehearseth  :  Dico  vobis  amicis  meis,  ne  terreamini  ab  iis 
qui  occidunt  corpus,  et  post  hcec  non  habent  amplius  quid 
faciant.  Ostendam  autem  vobis  quern  timeatis.  Timete 
eum,  qui  postquam  occiderit,  habet  potestatem  mittere  in 
gehennam :  Ita  dico  vobis,  hunc  timete, — I  sav  to  you  that 
are  my  friends,  be  not  afraid  of  them  that  kill  the  body, 
and  which  when  that  is  done,  are  able  to  do  no  more, 
But  I  shall  shew  you,  whom  you  shall  fear :  Fear  him, 
that  when  he  hath  killed,  hath  in  his  power  farther  to 
cast  him,  whom  he  killeth,  into  everlasting  fire :  So  I 

304  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 

say  to  you,  be  afraid  of  him.*  God  meaneth  not  here, 
that  we  should  nothing  dread  at  all  any  man  that  can  but 
kill  the  body,  but  he  meaneth  that  we  should  not  in  such 
wise  dread  any  such,  that  we  should  for  dread  of  them, 
displease  him  that  can  everlastingly  kill  both  body  and 
soul  with  a  death  ever  dying,  and  that  shall  yet  never  die. 
And  therefore  he  addeth  and  repeateth  in  the  end  again, 
the  fear  that  we  should  have  of  him,  and  saith :  Ita  dico 
vobis,  hunc  timete, — So  I  say  to  you,  fear  him. 

Oh,  good  God  !  cousin,  if  a  man  would  well  weigh 
these  words  and  let  them  sink,  as  they  should  do,  down 
deep  into  his  heart,  and  often  bethink  himself  thereon,  it 
would,  I  doubt  not,  be  able  enough,  to  make  us  se-t  at. 
nought  all  the  great  Turk's  threats,  and  esteem  him  not  a 
straw,  but  well  content  to  endure  all  the  pain  that  all  the 
world  could  put  upon  us  (for  so  short  while  as  all  they 
were  able  to  make  us  dwell  therein)  rather  than  by  the 
shrinking  from  those  pains  (though  never  so  sharp,  yet 
but  short)  to  cast  ourself  into  the  pain  of  hell  an  hundred 
thousand  times  more  intolerable,  and  whereof  there  shall 

a toofuiJeatt)  never  come  an  end-  A  woful  death  is  that 
'death,  in  which  folk  shall  evermore  be  dying, 
and  never  can  once  be  dead.  Whereof  the  Scripture  saith, 
Desiderabunt  mori,  et  mors  fugiet  ab  eis, — They  shall  call, 
and  cry  for  death,  and  death  shall  flee  from  them.f  Oh, 
good  Lord,  if  one  of  them  were  now  put  in  the  choice  of 
both,  they  would  rather  suffer  the  whole  year  together 
the  most  terrible  death  that  all  the  Turks  in  Turkey 
could  devise,  than  the  death  that  they  lie  in  for  the 
space  of  half  an  hour.  In  how  wretched  folly  fall  then 
these  faithless  or  feeble  faithed  folk,  that  to  avoid  the 
pain  so  far  the  less  and  so  short,  fall  in  the  stead  thereof 
into  pain  a  thousand  thousand  times  more  horrible,  and 
of  which  terrible  torment,  they  be  sure  they  shall  never 
have  end  !  This  matter,  cousin,  lacketh,  as  I  believe, 
but  either  full  faith  or  sufficient  minding.  For  I  think,  on 
my  faith,  if  we  have  the  grace  verily  to  believe  it,  and 
often  to  think  well  thereon,  the  fear  of  all  the  Turk's 
persecution  (with  all  that  this  midday  devil  were  able  to 
*  Luc.  xii.  f  Apocal.  ix. 


make  them  do  in   the  forcing  us  to  forsake  our  faith) 
should  never  be  able  to  turn  us. 

VINCENT. — By  my  troth,  uncle,  I  think  it  is  as  you  say. 
For  sure  if  we  would  as  oft  think  on  these  pains  of  hell, 
as  we  be  very  loath  to  do,  and  seek  us  peevish  pastimes  of 
purpose  to  put  such  heavy  things  out  of  our  thought : 
this  one  point  alone  were  able  enough  to  make,  I  think, 
many  a  martyr. 


The  Consideration  of  the  Joys  of  Heaven  should  make  us  for 
Christ's  sake  abide  and  endure  any  painful  Death. 

NTONY. —  FORSOOTH,  cousin,  if  we  were 
such  as  we  should  be,  I  would  scant  for 
very  shame  (in  exhortation  to  the  keeping 
of  Christ's  faith)  speak  of  the  pains  of 
hell.  I  would  rather  put  us  in  mind  of  the 
joys  of  heaven,  the  pleasure  whereof  we 
should  be  more  glad  to  get,  than  we  should  be  to  flee  and 
scape  all  the  pains  in  hell.  But  surely  God  in  that  thing, 
wherein  he  may  seem  most  rigorous,  is  marvellous  merci 
ful  to  us,  and  that  is  (which  many  men  would  little  ween) 
in  that  he  provided  hell.  For  I  suppose  very  0oB  merc(ful 
surely,  cousin,  that  many  a  man  and  woman  m  proowng 
too,  of  whom  there  sit  some  now,  and  more 
shall  hereafter  sit,  full  gloriously  crowned  in  heaven,  had 
they  not  first  been  afraid  of  hell,  would  toward  heaven 
never  have  set  foot  forward.  But  yet  undoubtedly  were 
it  so,  that  we  could  as  well  conceive  in  our  hearts  the 



marvellous  joys  of  heaven,  as  we  conceive  the  fearful, 
pains  of  hell  (howbeit  sufficiently  we  can  conceive  nei 
ther),  but  if  we  could  in  our  imagination  draw  as  much 
toward  the  perceiving  of  the  one,  as  we  may  toward  the 
consideration  of  the  other,  we  would  not  fail  to  be  far 
more  moved  and  stirred  to  the  suffering  for  Christ's  sake 
in  the  world,  for  the  winning  of  those  heavenly  joys,  than 
for  the  eschewing  of  all  these  infernal  pains.  But  foras 
much  as  the  fleshly  pleasures  be  far  less  pleasant,  than 
the  fleshly  pains  are  painful ;  therefore  we  fleshly  folk 
that  are  so  drowned  in  these  fleshly  pleasures,  and  in  the 
desire  thereof,  that  we  can  have  almost  no  manner  savour 
or  taste  in  any  pleasure  spiritual,  have  no  cause  to  marvel 
that  our  fleshly  affections  be  more  abated  and  refrained 
by  the  dread  and  terror  of  hell,  than  affections 
sures  let  tfj?"  spiritual  imprinted  in  us,  and  pricked  forward 
J5JiJ  fojl.w"  with  the  desire  and  joyful  hope  of  heaven. 
Howbeit  if  we  would  somewhat  set  less  by  the 
filthy  voluptuous  appetites  of  the  flesh,  and  would  by 
withdrawing  from  them,  with  help  of  prayer  through  the 
grace  of  God,  draw  nearer  to  the  secret  inward  pleasure 
of  the  spirit,  we  should  by  the  little  sipping  that  our 
hearts  should  have  here  now,  and  that  sudden  taste 
thereof,  have  such  an  estimation  of  the  incomparable  and 
uncogitable  joy,  that  we  shall  have  (if  we  will)  in  heaven 
by  the  very  full  draught  thereof,  whereof  it  is  written, 
Satiabor  quum  apparuerit  gloria  tua, — I  shall  be  satiate, 
satisfied  or  fulfilled,  when  thy  glory,  good  Lord,  shall 
appear,*  that  is  to  wit,  with  the  fruition  of  the  sight  of 
God's  glorious  majesty  face  to  face :  that  the  desire, 
expectation,  and  heavenly  hope  thereof,  shall  more 
encourage  us,  and  make  us  strong  to  suffer  and  sustain 
for  the  love  of  God  and  salvation  of  our  soul,  than  ever 
we  could  be  moved  to  suffer  here  worldly  pain  by  the 
terrible  dread  of  all  the  horrible  pains  that  damned 
wretches  have  in  hell. 

Wherefore  in  the  meantime  for  lack  of  such  experi 
mental  taste,  as  God  giveth  here  sometime  to  some  of  his 
special  servants,  to  the  intent  we  may  draw  toward  the 

*  Psal.  xvi. 


spiritual  exercise  too,  for  which  spiritual  exercise  God  with 
that  gift,  as  with  an  earnest-penny  of  their  whole  reward 
after  In  heaven,  comforteth  them  here  in  earth  :  let  us  not 
so  much  with  looking  to  have  described  what  manner  of 
joys  they  shall  be,  as  with  hearing  what  our  Lord  telleth 
us  in  Holy  Scripture,*  how  marvellous  great  they  shall  be, 
labour  by  prayer  to  conceive  in  our  hearts  such  a  fervent 
longing  for  them,  that  we  may  for  attaining  to  them, 
utterly  set  at  nought  all  fleshly  delight,  all  worldly  plea 
sures,  all  earthly  losses,  all  bodily  torments  and  pain. 
Howbeit  some  things  are  there  in  Scripture,  expressed  of 
the  manner  of  the  pleasures  and  joys  that  we  caetojsot 
shall  have  in  heaven,  as  where,  Fulgebuntjusti  ^aden- 
sicut  sol,  et  qui  erudiunt  ad  justitiam,  tanquam  scintilla  in 
arundineto  discurrunt, — Righteous  men  shall  shine  as 
the  sun,  and  shall  run  about  like  sparks  of  fire  among 

Now  tell  some  carnal-minded  man  of  this   -„„_.„, 

ill  i  1*1          VLaTUal  mm  Set 

manner  of  pleasure,  and  he  shall  take  little  little  t>s  tfie 
pleasure  therein,  and  say  he  careth  not  to  have  t£ 
his  flesh  shine,  he,  nor  like  a  spark  of  fire  to  skip  about 
in  the  sky.  Tell  him,  that  his  body  shall  be  impassible, 
and  never  feel  harm  :  yet  if  he  think  then  therewith,  that 
he  shall  never  be  an  hungered,  nor  athirst,  and  shall 
thereby  forbear  all  his  pleasure  of  eating  and  drinking,  and 
that  he  shall  never  have  lust  to  sleep,  and  thereby  lose 
the  pleasure  that  he  was  wont  to  take  in  slugging,  and 
that  men  and  women  shall  there  live .  together  as  angels, 
without  any  manner  mind  or  motion  unto  the  carnal  act 
of  generation,  and  that  he  shall  thereby  not  use  there  his 
old  filthy  voluptuous  fashion,  he  will  say,  he  ffioto  maHp  sap 
is  better  at  ease  already,  and  would  not  give  sonoto- 
this  world  for  that.  For  as  St.  Paul  saith,  Animalis 
homo  nonpercipit  ea  qua  sunt  SpiritusDei,  stultitia  enim  est 
illi,— A  carnal  man  feeleth  not  the  things  that  be  of  the 
Spirit  of  God,  for  it  is  foolishness  to  him.J  But  when  the 
time  shall  come,  that  these  foul  filthy  pleasures  shall  be 
so  taken  from  him,  that  it  shall  abhor  his  $n  softness  a» 
heart  once  to  think  on  them,  whereof  every  »lcasurcs ccasf- 
*  Esai.  Ixiv.  ;  1  Cor.  iv.  t  Sap.  iii.  J  1  Cor.  ii. 

X  2 

308  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 

man  hath  among  a  certain  shadow  of  experience  in  the 
fervent  grief  of  a  sore  painful  sickness,  while  the  stomach 
can  scant  abide  to  look  upon  any  meat,  and  as  for  the 
acts  of  the  other  foul  filthy  lust,  is  ready  to  vomit,  if  it 
happen  him  to  think  thereon.  When  men  shall,  I  say, 
after  this  life,  feel  that  horrible  abomination  in  their  heart 
at  the  remembrance  of  these  voluptuous  pleasures  (of 
which  abomination  sickness  hath  here  a  shadow)  for 
efrttnessasiia-  wmcn  voluptuous  pleasures  he  would  here 
Bob  of "i)eii=  be  loath  to  change  with  the  joys  of  heaven. 

When  he  shall,  I  say,  after  this  life  have  his 
fleshly  pleasures  in  abomination,  and  shall  of  those 
heavenly  joys,  which  he  set  here  so  little  by,  have  there 
a  glimmering,  though  far  from  a  perfect  sight :  oh,  good 
God  !  how  fain  will  he  then  be,  with  how  good  will  and 
how  glad  will  he  then  give  this  whole  world,  if  it  were 
his,  to  have  the  feeling  of  some  little  part  of  these  joys  ! 
And  therefore  let  us  all  that  we  can,  conceive  now  such 
delight  in  the  consideration  of  them  as  we  should  have 
often  in  our  eyes  by  reading,  often  in  our  ears  by  hearing, 
often  in  our  mouths  by  rehearsing,  often  in  our  hearts 
by  meditation  and  thinking  upon  those  joyful  words  of 
Holy  Scripture,  by  which  we  learn,  how  wonderful  huge 
and  great  those  spiritual  heavenly  joys  are,  of  which 
our  carnal  hearts  have  so  feeble  and  so  faint  a  feeling, 
and  our  dull  worldly  wits  so  little  able  to  conceive  so 
much  as  a  shadow  of  the  right  imagination.  A  shadow 
I  say :  for  as  for  the  thing  as  it  Ts,  that  cannot  only- 
no  fleshlv  carnal  phantasy  conceive,  but  over  that,  no 
spiritual  ghostly  person  (peradventure)  neither,  that  here 
is  living  still  in  this  world.  For  sith  the  very  substance 
essential  of  all  the  celestial  joys  standeth  in  blessed 
beholding  of  the  glorious  Godhead  face  to  face,  there  may 
no  man  presume  or  look  to  attain  it  in  this  life.  For 
God  hath  so  said  himself,  Non  videbit  me  homo,  et  vivet, 

— There  shall  no  man  here  living,  behold  me.* 
<aofc,  not  tn'oto  And  therefore  we  may  well  know,  that  for  the 
"  state  of  this  life,  we  be  not  only  shut  from  the 

fruition  of  the  bliss  of  heaven,  but  also  that 

*  Exod.  xxxiii. 


the  very  best  man  living  here  upon  earth  (the  best  man, 
I  mean,  being  no  more  but  a  man)  cannot,  I  ween,  attain 
the  right  imagination  thereof,  but  those  that  are  very 
virtuous,  are  yet  in  a  manner  as  far  therefrom,  as  the  born 
blind  man  from  the  right  imagination  of  colours. 

The  words  that  St.  Paul  rehearseth  of  the  prophet 
Esay  prophesying  of  Christ's  incarnation,  may  properly 
be  verified  by  the  joys  of  heaven :  Oculus  non  vidit,  nee 
auris  audivit,  nee  in  cor  hominis  ascendit,  quce  prceparavit 
Deus  diligentibus  se*  —  For  surely  for  the  state  of  this 
world,  the  joys  of  heaven  are  by  man's  mouth  unspeak 
able,  to  man's  ears  not  audible,  to  man's  heart  uncogita- 
ble,  so  farforth  excel  they  all  that  ever  any  man  can  by 
natural  possibility  think  on.  And  yet  where  the  joys  of 
heaven  be  such,  prepared  for  every  saved  soul,  our  Lord 
saith  yet  by  the  mouth  of  St.  John,  that  he  will  give  his 
holy  martyrs,  that  suffer  for  his  sake,  many  a 

•     i     i    •       i        /»    •  TI  i  •    i  IT'  _.  •     Utto'iin5   jjaOE 

special  kind  or  joy.  ror  he  saith, —  Vincenti  special  jmo- 
dabo  edere  de  ligno  vita, — To  him  that  over-  Batidcs< 
cometh  I  shall  give  him  to  eat  of  the  tree  of  life.f  And 
also  he  that  overcometh  shall  be  clothed  in  white 
clothes,  and  I  shall  confess  his  name  before  my  Father, 
and  before  his  angels.  And  also  he  saith,  Fear  none  of 
those  things  that  thou  shalt  suffer,  &c. ;  but  be  faithful 
unto  the  death,  and  I  shall  give  thee  the  crown  of  life. 
He  that  overcometh,  shall  not  be  hurt  of  the  second 
death.  He  saith  also,  Vincenti  dabo  manna  absconditum, 
et  dabo  illi  calculum  conditum,  et  in  calculo  nomen  novum 
scriptum,  quod  nemo  scit  nisi  qui  accipit, — To  him  that 
overcometh,  will  I  give  manna  secret  and  hid.  And  I 
will  give  him  a  white  suffrage,  and  in  his  suffrage  a  new 
name  written,  which  no  man  knoweth  but  he  that 
receiveth  it.  They  used  of  old  in  Greece  (where  St.  John 
did  write)  to  elect  and  choose  men  unto  honourable 
rooms,  and  every  man's  assent  was  called  his  asugra 
suffrage,  which  in  some  places  was  by  the 
voices,  in  some  places  by  hands,  and  one  kind  of  those 
suffrages  was  by  certain  things  that  are  in  Latin  called 
calculi,  because  that  in  some  places  they  used  thereto 
*  Isaise  vi. ;  1  Cor.ii.  f  Apocal.  ii. 


round  stones.  Now  saith  our  Lord  that  unto  him  which 
overcometh  he  will  give  a  white  suffrage.*  For  those 
that  wore  white  signified  approving,  as  the  black  signified 
reproving.  And  in  these  suffrages  did  they  use  to  write  the 
name  of  him  to  whom  they  gave  their  voice.  And  now 
saith  our  Lord,  that  to  him  that  overcometh  he  will  in 
the  suffrage  give  him  a  new  name,  which  no  man  knoweth 
but  he  that  receiveth  it.  He  saith  also :  He  that  over- 
i-  cometb,  I  will  make  him  a  pillar  in  the  temple 

of  my  God,   and    he  shall  go  no   more   out 

thereof.  And  I  shall  write  upon  him  the  name 
of  my  God,  and  the  name  of  the  city  of  my  God,  the  new 
Jerusalem  which  descendeth  from  heaven  from  my  God, 
and  I  shall  write  upon  him  also  my  new  name.  If  we 
would  dilate  and  were  able  to  declare  these  special  gifts, 
with  yet  other  more  specified  in  the  second  and  third 
chapter  of  the  Apocalypse ;  there  would  it  appear  how 
aiitjese  tops  far  tnese  heavenly  joys  shall  surmount  above 
jassaajDoruis  all  the  comfort  that  ever  came  in  the  mind  of 

any  man  living  here  upon  earth.  The  blessed 
apostle  St.  Paul,  that  suffered  so  many  perils,  and  so 
many  passions,  he  that  saith  of  himself  that  he  hath  been 
In  laborious  pluribus,  in  carceribus  abundantius,  in  plagis, 
frc. — In  many  labours,  in  prison  ofter  than  other,  in 
stripes  above  measure,  at  point  of  death  often  times.  Of 
the  Jews  had  I  five  times  forty  stripes  save  one :  thrice 
have  I  been  beaten  with  rods,  once  was  I  stoned  :  thrice 
have  I  been  in  shipwreck  :  a  day  and  a  night  was  I  in  the 
depth  of  the  sea :  in  my  journies  oft  have  I  been  in  peril 
of  floods,  in  peril  of  thieves,  in  perils  by  the  Jews,  in 
perils  by  the  Paynims,  in  perils  in  the  city,  in  perils  in 
desert,  in  perils  in  the  sea,  in  perils  by  false  brethren,  in 
labour  and  misery,  in  many  nights'  watch,  in  hunger  and 
thirst,  in  many  fastings,  in  cold  and  nakedness,  beside 
these  things  that  are  outward  my  daily  instant  labour,  I 
mean  my  care  and  solicitude  about  all  the  churches.t  And 
yet  saith  he  more  of  his  tribulations,  which  for  length  I  let 
pass.  This  blessed  apostle,  I  say,  for  all  these  'tribula 
tions  that  himself  suffered  in  the  continuance  of  so  many 

*  Apocal.  iii.  f  2  Corf  xi. 


years,  calleth  yet  all  the  tribulations  of  this  world  but 
light  and  short  as  a  moment  in  respect  of  the  weighty 
glory  that  it  after  this  world  winneth  us.  Id  enim  quod 
in  prcesenti  est  momentaneum,  et  leve  tribulationis  nostrce, 
supra  modum  in  sublimitate  ceternum  glorice  pondus  opera- 
tur  in  nobis,  non  contemplantibus  nobis  quce  videntur, 
sed  quce  non  videntur.  Qua  enim  videntur,  temporalia 
sunt,  quce  autem  non  videntur,  ceterna  sunt, — This  same 
short  and  momentary  tribulation  of  ours  that  is  in  this 
present  time,  worketh  within  us  the  weight  of  glory 
above  measure — in  sublimitate — on  high,  we  beholding  not 
those  things  that  we  see,  but  those  things  that  we  see 
not.  For  these  things  that  we  see,  be  but  temporal  things  : 
but  those  things  that  are  not  seen  are  eternal.*  Now 
to  this  great  glory  can  there  no  man  come  headless.  Our 
head  is  Christ,f  and  therefore  to  him  must  we  be  joined, 
and  as  members  of  his  must  we  follow  him,  if  we  will 
come  thither.  He  is  our  guide  to  guide  us  thither,  and  is 
entered  in  before  us.  And  he  therefore  that  will  enter  in 
after,  Debet  sicut  ille  ambulavit,  et  ipse  ambu-  ^  ^  ^ 
lare, — The  same  way  that  Christ  walked,  the  lotoVn  tp  tntm= 
same  way  must  he  walk.J  And  what  was  the  Jf*JJJf a;yen*ot 
way  by  which  he  walked  into  heaven,  himself  ^J^^j 
sheweth  what  way  it  was  that  his  Father  had 
provided  for  him,  where  he  said  unto  the  two  disciples, 
going  toward  the  castle  of  EmausJ  Nonne  hcec  oportuit 
pati  Christum,  et  ita  intrare  in  gloriam  suam  ? — Know  ye 
not  that,  Christ  must  suffer  passion,  and  by  that  way 
enter  into  his  kingdom  ?§  Who  can  for  very  shame 
desire  to  enter  into  the  kingdom  of  Christ  a  notable  saj?- 
with  ease,  when  he  himself  entered  not  into  (nfll 
his  own  without  pain. 

*  2  Cor.  iv.  f  Ephes.  v.  J  1  Joaan.  ii.  §  Luc.  ult. 

312  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 


The  Consideration  of  the  painful  Death  of  Christ  is  sufficient 
to  make  us  content  to  suffer  painful  Death  for  his  sake. 

URELY,  cousin,  as  I  said  before,  in  bear 
ing  the  loss  of  worldly  goods,  in  suffering 
of  captivity,  thraldom,  and  imprisonment, 
and  in  the  glad  sustaining  o'f  worldly 
shame,  that  if  we  would  in  all  these  points 
deeply  ponder  the  sample  of  our  Saviour 
himself,  it  were  of  itself  alone  sufficient  to  encourage  every 
kind  Christian  man  and  woman,  to  refuse  none  of  all  those 
calamities  for  his  sake.  So  say  I  now  for 
?oo{fiesacr?p-  painful  death  also,  that  if  we  could  and  would 
pains* (KiJrtStS  w^  ^ue  compassion  conceive  in  our  minds  a 
right  imagination  and  remembrance  of  Christ's 
bitter  painful  passion,*  of  the  many  sore  bloody  strokes 
that  the  cruel  tormentors  with  rods  and  whips  gave  him 
upon  every  part  of  his  holy  tender  body,  the  scornful 
crown  of  sharp  thorns  beaten  down  upon  his  holy  head, 
so  strait  and  so  deep,  that  on  every  part  his  blessed  blood 
issued  out  and  streamed  down  his  lovely  limbs  drawn 
and  stretched  out  upon  the  cross,  to  the  intolerable  pain 
of  his  forbeaten  and  sore  beaten  veins  and  sinews, 
new  feeling  with  the  cruel  stretching  and  straining  pain, 
far  passing  any  cramp  in  every  part  of  his  blessed  body 
at  once  :  then  the  great  long  nails  cruelly  driven  with 
hammers  through  his  holy  hands  and  feet,  and  in  this 
horrible  pain  lift  up  and  let  hang  with  the  peise  of  all  his 
*  Johan.  xix.  ;  Matth.  xxvii. ;  Marc.  xv. ;  Luc.  xxiii. 


body,  bearing  down  upon  the  painful  wounded  places,  so 
grievously  pierced  with  nails,  and  in  such  torment  (with 
out  pity,  but  not  without  many  despites)  suffered  to  be 
pined  and  pained  the  space  of  more  than  three  long  hours, 
till  himself  willingly  gave  up  unto  his  Father  his  holy 
soul:  after  which'yet  to  shew  the  mightiness  of  their 
malice,  after  his  holy  soul  departed,  they  pierced  his  holy 
heart  with  a  sharp  spear,  at  which  issued  out  the  holy 
blood  and  water  whereof  his  holy  sacraments  have  ines 
timable  secret  strength  :  if  we  would,  I  say,  remember 
these  things  in  such  wise,  as  would  God  we  would,  I 
verily  think  and  suppose  that  the  consideration  of  his 
incomparable  kindness  could  not  in  such  wise  fail  to 
inflame  our  key-cold  hearts,  and  set  them  on  fire  in  his 
love,  that  we  should  find  ourself  not  only  content,  but 
also  triad  and  desirous,  to  suffer  death  for  his  sake,  that 
so  marvellous  lovingly  letted  not  to  sustain  so  far  passing 
painful  death  for  ours. 

Would  God  we  would  here  to  the  shame  of  our  cold 
affection   again  toward  God,  for  such  fervent  love,  and 
inestimable  kindness  of  God  toward  us :  would  God  we 
would,  I  say,  but  consider  what  hot  affection  many  of 
these  fleshly  lovers  have  borne,  and  daily  do  jpiessip  loners' 
bear  to  those  upon  whom  they  doat  !     How  a 
many  of  them  have  not  letted  to  jeopard  their  lives,  and 
how  many  have  willingly  lost  their  lives  indeed  without 
either  great  kindness  shewed  them  before  (and  afterward, 
you  wot  well,  they  could  nothing  win),  but  even  that  it 
contented  and  satisfied  their  mind,  that  by  their  death 
their  lover  should  clearly  see  how  faithfully  they  loved? 
The  delight  whereof,  imprinted  in  their  phantasy,  not 
assuaged  only,  but  counterpeised  also  (they  thought)  all 
their  pain.     Of  these  affections  with  the  wonderful  dolor 
ous  effects  following  thereon,  not  only  old  written  stories, 
but   over  that  I  think   in  every  country  Christian  and 
heathen  both,  experience  giveth  us  proof  enough.     And  is 
it  not  then  a  wonderful  shame  for  us  for  the  dread  of 
temporal   death,   to   forsake  our  Saviour   that  willingly 
suffered  so  painful  death,  rather  than  he  would  forsake 
us,  considering  that  beside  that  he  shall  for  our  suffering 


so  highly  reward  us  with  everlasting  wealth  ?  Oh  !  if  he 
that  is  content  to  die  for  her  love,  of  whom  he  looketh 
mi  pe  lobers  after  for  no  reward,  and  yet  by  his  death  goeth 
looit  on  tfjis.  from  her,  might  by  his  death  be  sure  to  come 
to  her,  and  ever  after  in  delight  and  pleasure  to  dwell 
with  her  :  such  a  lover  would  not  let  here  to  die  for  her 
twice.  And  how  cold  lovers  be  we  then  unto  God,  if 
rather  than  die  for  him  once  we  will  refuse  him  and  for 
sake  him  for  ever  that  both  died  for  us  before,  and  hath 
also  provided  that  if  we  die  here  for  him,  we  shall  in 
heaven  everlastingly  both  live  and  also  reign  with  him. 
For,  as  St.  Paul  saith,  if  we  suffer  with  him,  we  shall 
reign  with  him.* 

liaanj?  fife  tou=  How  many  Romans,  how  many  noble  cou- 
itngte  for  fame.  rages  of  other  sundry  countries  have  willingly 
given  their  own  lives,  and  suffered  great  deadly  pains, 
and  very  painful  deaths  for  their  countries,  and  the 
respect  of  winning  by  their  deaths  the  only  reward  of 
worldly  renown  and  fame?  And  should  we  then  shrink 
to  suffer  as  much  for  eternal  honour  in  heaven  and  ever- 
©fistinate  fiere-  ^as^mg  gl°ry  ?  The  devil  hath  some  also  so 
ties  ate  for  obstinate  heretics  that  endure  wittingly  painful 
€at{joi?cl'&onlr  death  for  vain  glory :  and  is  it  not  more  than 
sgnfe  for  true  shame,  that  Christ  shall  see  his  Catholics  for 
sake  his  faith,  rather  than  suffer  the  same  for 
heaven  and  very  glory  ?  Would  God,  as  I  many  times 
have  said,  that  the  remembrance  of  Christ's  kindness  in 
suffering  his  passion  for  us,  the  consideration  of  hell  that 
we  should  fall  in  by  forsaking  of  him,  the  joyful  medita 
tion  of  eternal  life  in  heaven,  that  we  shall  win  with  this 
short  temporal  death  patiently  taken  for  him,  had  so 
deep  a  place  in  our  breast,  as  reason  would  they  should, 
and  as  (if  we  would  do  our  devoir  toward  it,  and  labour 
for  it,  and  pray  therefor)  I  verily  think  they  should. 
a  notable  point  ^or  tnen  should  they  so  take  up  our  mind, 
llmomt^S ta  an(*  rayish  ^  a^  another  way,  that  as  a  man 
fear  an&  pain  of  hurt  in  a  fray  feeleth  not  sometime  his  wound 
nor  yet  is  not  ware  thereof,  till  his  mind  fall 
more  thereon,  so  farforth,  that  sometime  another  man 

*  Rom.  viii. 


sheweth  him  that  he  hath  lost  an  hand,  before  he  perceive 
it  himself:  so  the  mind  ravished  in  the  thinking  deeply  of 
those  other  things,  Christ's  death,  hell  and 
heaven,  were  likely  to  minish  and  put  away  of 
our  painful  death  four  parts  of  the  feeling  *«  JJj 
either  of  the  fear,  or  of  the  pain.  For  fear  of 
this  am  I  very  sure,  if  we  had  the  fifteenth  part  of  the 
love  to  Christ,  that  he  both  had,  and  hath  unto  us,  all 
the  pain  of  this  Turk's  persecution  could  not  keep  us  from 
him,  but  that  there  would  be  at  this  day  as  many  martyrs 
here  in  Hungary,  as  have  been  afore  in  other  countries  of 
old.  And  of  this  point  put  I  no  doubt,  but  that  if  the 
Turk  stood  even  here,  with  all  his  whole  army  about  him, 
and  every  of  them  all  were  ready  at  hand  with  all  the 
terrible  torments  that  they  could  imagine,  and  (but  if  we 
would  forsake  the  faith)  were  setting  their  torments  to  us, 
and  to  the  increase  of  our  terror,  fell  all  at  once  in  a 
shout,  with  trumpets,  tabrets,  and  timbrels  all  blown  up 
at  once,  and  all  their  guns  let  go  therewith,  to  make  us  a 
fearful  noise,  if  there  should  suddenly  then  on  the  other 
side  the  ground  quake  and  rive  atwain,  and  the  devils  rise 
out  of  hell,  and  shew  themself  in  such  ugly  shape  as  damned 
wretches  shall  see  them,  and  with  that  hideous  howling 
that  those  hellhounds  should  screech,  lay  hell  open  on 
every  side  round  about  our  feet,  that  as  we 
stood  we  should  look  down  into  that  pestilent 
pit,  and  see  the  swarm  of  silly  souls  in  the 
terrible  torments  there,  we  would  wax  so  fraid 
of  the  sight,  that  as  for  the  Turk's  host,  we  should  scantly 
remember  we  saw  them.  And  in  good  faith  for  all  that,  yet 
think  I  farther,  that  if  there  might  then  appear  the  great 
glory  of  God,  the  Trinity  in  his  high  marvellous  majesty, 
our  Saviour  in  his  glorious  manhood,  sitting  on  his  throne 
with  his  immaculate  mother,  and  all  the  glorious  com 
pany  calling  us  there  unto  them,  and  that  yet  our  way 
should  be  through  marvellous  painful  death,  ^acfeoffaftft 
before  we  could  come  at  them,  upon  the  sight,  {ftss  maStii  us 
I  say,  of  that  glory  there  would  I  ween  be  no  stnrtnt  to  run ' 
man  that  once  would  shrink  thereat,  but  every 
man  would  run  on  toward  them,  in  all  that  ever  he 

316  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 

might,  though  there  lay  for  malice  to  kill  us  by  the  way, 
both  all  the  Turk's  tormentors,  and  all  the  devils  too. 
And  therefore,  cousin,  let  us  well  consider  these  things, 
and  let  us  have  sure  hope  in  the  help  of  God,  and  I  then 
doubt  not  but  that  we  shall  be  sure,  that  as  the  prophet 
saith,  the  truth  of  his  promise  shall  so  compass  us  with  a 
pavice,  that  of  this  incursion  of  this  midday  devil,  this 
Turk's  persecution,  we  shall  never  need  to  fear.  For 
either  if  we  trust  in  God  well,  and  prepare  us  therefor, 
the  Turk  shall  never  meddle  with  us,  or  else  if  he  do, 
harm  shall  he  none  do  us,  but  instead  of  harm,  inesti 
mable  good.  Of  whose  gracious  help  wherefore  should 
we  so  sore  now  despair,  except  we  were  so  mad  men 
as  to  ween,  that  either  his  power  or  his  mercy  were 
©oft  can  an»  worn  out  already,  when  we  see  so  many  a  thou- 
notti  matte  mar*  sand  holy  martyrs  by  his  holy  help  suffered 

as  much  before,  as  any  man  shall  be  put  to 
now?  Or  what  excuse  can  we  have  by  the  tenderness  of 
Some  torn  as  our  ^esn'  when  we  can  be  no  more  tender 
ttnoetofoio,  than  were  many  of  them,  among  whom  were 
as  toe  be  noto.  •,  J  n  ,v  i  i  i 

not   only   men   ot   strength,    but   also  weak 

women  and  children.  And  sith  the  strength  of  them  all 
stood  in  the  help  of  God,  and  that  the  very  strongest  of 
them  all  was  never  able  of  themself,  and  with  God's  help 
the  feeblest  of  them  all  was  strong  enough  to  stand 
against  all  the  world,  let  us  prepare  ourself  with  prayer, 
with  our  whole  trust  in  his  help,  without  any  trust  in  our 
own  strength  ;  let  us  think  thereon  and  prepare  us  in  our 

«       .    .     minds  thereto  long:  before  ;  let  us  therein  con- 
H&e  must  not  .        &       ,  . 

seetpersccu-      torm   our  will   unto  his,    not  desiring   to    be 

jrfi'e  tf&ts'tre  brought  unto  the  peril  of  persecution  (for  it 
martsmom.  seemeth  a  proud  high  mind  to  desire  martyr 
dom)  but  desiring  help  and  strength  of  God,  if  he  suffer 
us  to  come  to  the  stress,  either  being  sought,  formed,  or 

brought  out  against  our  wills,  or  else  being  by 
Sfatfae  perse?  n^s  commandment  (for  the  comfort  of  our  cure) 
to «??'  antt  "Ot  bounden  to  abide,  let  us  fall  to  fasting,  to 

prayer,  to  almsdeed  in  time,  and  give  that  unto 
God  that  may  be  taken  from  us. 

If  the  devil  put  in  our  mind  the  saving  of  our  land  and 


our  goods,  let  us  remember  that  we  cannot  save  them  long. 
If  he  fear  us  with  exile  and  fleeing  from  our  country,  let 
us  remember  that  we  be  born  into  the  broad 
world  (and  not  like  a  tree  to  stick  still  in  one  fK  aufnot 
place),  and  that  whithersoever  we  go  God  shall  {JJ^ to  one 
go  with  us.  If  he  threaten  us  with  captivity, 
let  us  tell  him  again,  better  is  it  to  be  thrall  unto  man  a 
while  for  the  pleasure  of  God,  than  by  displeasing  of  God 
be  perpetual  thrall  unto  the  devil.  If  he  threat  us  with 
imprisonment,  let  us  tell  him,  we  will  rather  be  man's 
prisoners  a  while  here  on  earth,  than  by  forsaking  the 
faith  be  his  prisoners  for  ever  in  hell.  If  he  put  in  our 
minds  the  terror  of  the  Turks,  let  us  consider  his  false 
sleight  therein ;  for  this  tale  he  telleth  us,  to  make  us 
forget  him.  But  let  us  remember  well,  that  in  respect  of 
himself  the  Turk  is  but  a  shadow,  nor  all  that  they  can  all 
do,  can  be  but  a  fleabiting  in  comparison  of  the  mischief 
that  he  goeth  about.  The  Turks  are  but  his  tormentors, 
for  himself  doth  the  deed.  Our  Lord  saith  in  the  Apoca 
lypse,  Ecce  missurus  est  diabolus  aliquos  ex  vobis  in  car- 
cerem,  ut  tentemini, — The  devil  shall  send  some  of  you  to 
prison,  to  tempt  you.*  He  saith  not  that  man  shall,  but 
that  the  devil  shall  himself.  For  without  question,  the 
devil's  own  deed  it  is,  to  bring  us  by  his  temptation  with 
fear  and  force  thereof  into  eternal  damnation.  And 
therefore  saith  St.  Paul,  Non  est  nobis  colluctatio  adversus 
carnem  et  sanguinem,  sed,  fyc.  —  Our  wrestling  is  not 
against  flesh  and  blood,  but  against  the  princes  and 
powers,  and  ghostly  enemies  that  be  rulers  of  these 
darknesses,  £c/t-  Thus  may  we  see,  that  in  such  perse 
cutions,  it  is  the  midday  devil  himself  that  _ 

,  i  .  *  II  5Tl)C  UEOtl  plOT' 

maketh  such  incursion  upon  us,  by  the  men  self  toortetj)  tp 
that  are  his  ministers,  to  make  us  fall  for  fear.  w 
For  till  we  fall,  he  can  never  hurt  us.  And  therefore 
saith  St.  James,  Hesistite  diabolo,  et  fugiet  a  vobis, — 
Stand  against  the  devil,  and  he  shall  flee  from  you.  For 
he  never  runneth  upon  a  man  to  seize  on  him  with  his 
claws,  till  he  see  him  down  on  the  ground  willingly  fallen 
himself.  For  his  fashion  is  to  set  his  servants  against  us, 
*  Apocal.  iii.  t  Ephes.  vi. 

318  A    DIALOGUE    OF    COMFORT 

and  by  them  to  make  us  for  fear,  or  for  impatience  to  fall, 
cfie  uon  sets  an<^  mmself  m  the  meanwhile  compasseth  us, 
tits  secants  to  running  and  roaring  like  a  rampant  lion  about 

us,  looking  who  will  fall,  that  he  then  may 
devour  him.  Adversarius  vester  diabolus  (saith  St.  Peter) 
tanquam  leo  rugiens  circuit  qucerens  quern  devoret, — Your 
adversary  the  devil  like  a  roaring  lion,  runneth  about  in 
circuit,  seeking  whom  he  may  devour.*  The  devil  it  is 
therefore,  that  (if  we  for  fear  of  men  will  fall)  is  ready  to 
run  upon  us,  and  devour  us.  And  is  it  wisdom  then,  so 
much  to  think  upon  the  Turks  that  we  forget  the  devil  ? 

What  madman  is  he,  that  when  a  lion  were 
te  abroa&01fear  about  to  devour  him,  would  vouchsafe  to 
noyotsttna  regard  the  biting  of  a  little  foisting  cur? 

Therefore  when  he  roareth  out  upon  us  by  the 
threats  of  mortal  men,  let  us  tell  him,  that  with  our 
inward  eye  we  see  him  well  enough,  and  intend  to  stand 
and  fight  with  him,  even  hand  to  hand.  If  he  threaten 
us,  that  we  be  too  weak,  let  us  tell  him  that  our  captain 
Christ  is  with  us,  and  that  we  shall  fight  with  his 
strength  that  hath  vanquished  him  already,  and  let  us 
fence  us  with  faith,  and  comfort  us  with  hope,  and  smite 
a  fiwbranfl  of  the  devil  in  the  face  with  a  firebrand  of  charity. 

For  surely  if  we  be  of  that  tender  loving  mind 
that  our  master  was,  and  not  hate  them  that  kill  us,  but 

etsrcu      P*^  tnem  anc^  Pray  f°r  tnem>  ^h  sorrow  for 

to?sa«st«e?e     the  peril  that  they  work  to  thernself ;  that  fire 

praMS.        of  charity  thrown  in  his  face,  striketh  the  devil 

suddenly  so  blind,  that  he  cannot  see  where  to 

fasten  a  stroke  on  us. 

When  we  feel  us  too  bold,  remember  our  own  feeble 
ness.  When  we  feel  us  too  faint,  remember  Christ's 
strength.  In  our  fear,  let  us  remember  Christ's  painful 
agony,  that  himself  would  (for  our  comfort)  suffer  before 
his  passion,  to  the  intent  that  no  fear  should  make  us 
despair.  And  ever  call  for  his  help,  such  as  himself  list 
to  send  us,  and  then  we  need  never  to  doubt,  but  that 
Cfie  last  an&  either  he  shall  keep  us  from  the  painful  death, 
test  tomfort.  or  g^u  not  fai}  so  to  strength  us  in  it,  that  he 

*  lPet.v. 


shall  joyously  bring  us  to  heaven  by  it.  And  then  doth  he 
much  more  for  us,  than  if  he  kept  us  from  it.  For  as  God 
did  more  for  poor  Lazar,*  in  helping  him  patiently  to  die 
for  hunger  at  the  rich  man's  door,  than  if  he  had 
brought  him  to  the  door  all  the  rich  glutton's  dinner:  so 
though  he  be  gracious  to  a  man,  whom  he  delivereth  out 
of  painful  trouble,  yet  doth  he  much  more  for  a  man,  if 
through  right  painful  death  he  deliver  him  from  this 
wretched  world  into  eternal  bliss.  From  which  whosoever 
shrink  away  with  forsaking  of  his  faith,  and  falleth  in 
the  peril  of  everlasting  fire,  he  shall  be  very  sure  to 
repent  it  ere  it  be  long  after.  For  I  ween  that  whenso 
ever  he  falleth  sick  next,  he  will  wish  that  fljanp  |aae  ana 
he  had  been  killed  for  Christ's  sake  before.  *° tols*  W*- 
What  folly  is  it  then  for  fear  to  flee  from  that  death, 
which  thou  seest  thou  shalt  shortly  after  wish  thou  hadst 
died?  Yea,  I  ween,  almost  every  good  Christian  man 
would  very  fain  this  day,  that  he  had  been  for  Christ's 
faith  cruelly  killed  yesterday,  even  for  the  desire  of 
heaven,  though  there  were  no  hell.  But  to  fear,  while 
the  pain  is  coming,  there  is  all  our  let.  But  then  if  we 
would  remember  hell  pain  on  the  other  side,  c$eBmtest 
into  which  we  fall  while  we  flee  from  this,  let,  ann  nmens 
then  should  this  short  pain  be  no  let  at  all.  *! 
And  yet  should  we  be  more  pricked  forward,  if  we  were 
faithful,  by  deep  considering  of  the  joys  of  heaven,  of 
which  the  apostle  saith,  J\ron  sunt  condigna  passiones 
hujus  temporis  ad  futuram  gloriarn,  quce  revelabitur  in 
nobis, — The  passions  of  this  time  be  not  worthy  of  the 
glory  that  is  to  come,  which  shall  be  shewed  in  us.f 
We  should  not,  I  ween,  cousin,  need  much  eo{ 
more  in  all  this  whole  matter,  than  that  one  ucnij  top  pass- 
text  of  St.  Paul,  if  we  would  consider  it  well.  e 
For  surely,  mine  own  good  cousin,  remember  that  if  it  were 
possible  for  me  and  you  alone,  to  suffer  as  much  trouble, 
as  the  whole  world  doth  together  all,  that  were  not 
worthy  of  itself  to  bring  us  to  the  joy  which  we  hope  to 
have  everlastingly.  And  therefore  I  pray  you  let  the 
consideration  of  that  joy  put  out  all  worldly  trouble  out  of 

*  Luc.  xvi.  f  Rom.  viii. 


your  heart,  and  also  pray  that  it  may  do  the  same  in  me. 
And  even  thus  will  I,  good  cousin,  with  these  words  make 
a  sudden  end  of  my  whole  tale,  and  bid  you  farewell. 
For  now  I  begin  to  feel  myself  somewhat  weary. 

VINCENT. — Forsooth,  good  uncle,  this  is  a  good  end  : 
and  it  is  no  marvel  though  you  be  waxen  weary.  For  I 
have  this  day  put  you  to  so  much  labour,  that  saving  for 
the  comfort  that  yourself  may  take  of  your  time  so  well 
bestowed,  and  for  the  comfort  that  I  have  myself  taken, 
and  more  shall,  I  trust,  for  your  good  counsel  given  ; 
else  would  I  be  very  sorry  to  have  put  you  to  so  much 
pain.  But  now  shall  our  Lord  reward  and  recom 
pense  you  therefor,  and  many  shall,  I  trust,  pray  for  you. 
For  to  the  intent  that  the  more  may  take  profit  by  you,  I 
purpose,  uncle,  as  my  poor  wit  and  learning  will  serve  me, 
to  put  your  good  counsel  in  remembrance,  not  in  our 
language  only,  but  in  the  Almaine  tongue  too.  And 
thus  praying  God  to  give  me  arid  all  other  that  shall 
read  it,  the  grace  to  follow  your  good  counsel  therein,  I 
shall  commit  you  to  God. 

ANTONY. — Sith  you  be  minded,  cousin,  to  bestow  so 
much  labour  thereon,  I  would  it  had  happed  you  to  fetch 
the  counsel  at  some  wiser  man  that  could  have  given  you 
better.  But  better  men  may  set  more  things,  and  better 
also,  thereto.  And  in  the  meantime,  I  beseech  our  Lord  to 
breathe  of  his  Holy  Spirit  into  the  reader's  breast,  which 
inwardly  may  teach  him  in  heart,  without  whom,  little 
availeth  all  that  all  the  mouths  of  the  world  were  able  to 
teach  in  men's  ears.  And  thus,  good  cousin,  farewell, 
till  God  bring  us  together  again,  either  here,  or  in  heaven  ! 
Amen ! 


J.  &  H.  COX  (BROTHERS;,   Printers,  /4  &  75,  Great  Queen  Street, 
Lincoln's- Inn  Fields. 





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QUEEN  VICTORIA.  Recently  published  in  Seven  Volumes  8vo.,  price  £4.  4s. 

This  important  collection,  the  result  of  many  years'  research,  contains 
upwards  of  Seven  Hundred  and  Thirty  Letters  and  Official  Documents  is-j 
tied  by  MARY  QUKEN  OF  SCOTS,  of  which  more  than  Four  Hundred  and\ 
Thirty  have  been  hitherto  unknown,  and  serve  to  throw  new  light  not  only  | 
m  the  life  of  the  unfortunate  Mary,  but  also  on  the  general  history  of 
Europe  in  the  Sixteenth  Century. 

The  greater  part  of  these  letters  are  written  in  French,  many  in  the 
English  or  Scottish  Dialects,  a  few  in  Latin,  and  some  in  Italian.  They  are 
low  published  with  the  most  scrupulous  fidelity  from  the  originals,  with 
vhich  every  document  has  been  diligently  collated ;  but  in  order  to  render 
he  work  more  accessible  to  the  general  reader,  a  digest  or  summary  has 
)een  prefixed  to  each  letter,  so  as  to  supply  the  place  of  a  translation ;  in 
iddition  to  which  is  added,  a  Glossary  of  English,  Scotch,  and  French 
vords  that  have  become  obsolete. 

Fifty  Copies  have  been  printed  on  Large  Paper,  in  Inapl.  8vo.,  very 
few  of  which  remain  for  sale. 

"  We  never  saw  a  more  carefully  edited  book.  More  patient  exactness, 
i  more  praiseworthy  elaborate  fidelity,  we  could  not  possibly  have  desired, 
it  were  yet  impossible  for  the  most  inveterate  foe  of  Mary  to  look  patiently 
:hrough  these  volumes,  without  feeling  his  hostility  give  way  011  some  very 
mportant  points,  and  without  a  desire  to  sift  the  whole  evidence  again, 
md  rejudge  the  case.  We  heartily  recommend  this  valuable  collection  to 
he  best  attention  of  the  students  of  history." — Examiner,  May  10,  1845. 

"  We  must  in  justice  say  that  we  have  never  seen  a  mass  of  historical 
documents  more  faithfully  edited,  lucidly  arranged,  and  impartially  illus- 
rated  than  the  collection  before  us.  Prince  Labanoff  's  integrity  is  eq\ial 
o  his  zeal ;  he  has  ever  kept  in  view  the  principal  of  giving  the  truth,  the 
whole  truth,  and  nothing  but  the  truth  ;  he  has  reserved  for  a  separate 
publication  his  own  views  of  the  evidence  he  has  collected,  and  he  nowhere 
allows  the  conclusions  which  he  has  formed  to  influence  either  his  state 
ments  or  his  comments." — Athenaum,  April  and  May,  1845. 

"  Seven  hundred  and  thirty  letters  are  now  collected  and  printed  in 
regular  series,  forming  the  most  valuable  contribution  which  perhaps  the 
history  of  any  country  ever  received.  It  is  a  work  of  rare  information  and 
of  national  interest."— Edinburgh  Advertiser,  June  10,  1845. 

"  We  heartily  recommend  these  volumes  to  general  attention,  as  one  of 
the  most  valuable  contributions  ever  offered  to  British  literature  by  a 
foreign  hand." — Quarterly  Review,  December,  1845. 


Recently  published,  price   14s.,  in  one  vol.,   8vo.,  with  a  Frontispiece. 


Exhibiting  Queen  Elizabeth  dancing  before  Sir  Roger  Aston,  Ambas 
sador  from  James  the  First,  and  an  unique  Coin  of  Queen  Mary  upon  the 

from  the  "  Recueil  des  Lettres  de  Marie  Stuart"  and  preceded  by  the 
Chronological  Summary  of  Events  during  the  Reign  of  the  Queen  of 
Scotland,  by  PRINCE  A.  LABANOFF.  Translated  with  Notes  and  an  Intro 
duction,  by  WILLIAM  TURNBULL,  Esq.,  F.S.A.,  Scot. 

***  It  may,  perhaps,  be  necessary  to  state,  that  the  whole  of  the 
Letters  in  this  volume  are  now,  for  the  first  time,  presented  to  the  public 
in  English,  and  that  none  of  them  are  to  be  found  in  the  Collection  of 
Letters  edited  by  Miss  Strickland. 

"  We  appiove  heartily  of  this  design,  to  give  the  cream  of  this  important 
work  to  the  general  reader  in  a  form  intelligible  to  all ;  for  though  the 
learned  must  be  delighted  with  it  in  its  original  language,  yet  the  antique 
and  foreign  obscurity  of  the  greater  portion  of  it  necessarily  excluded  very 
many  from  its  satisfactory  perusal." — Literary  Gazette,  May,  1845,  p.  327. 

Of  the  admirable  abstract  which  Mr.  Turnbull  has  here  made  of  the 
Prince's  voluminous  "Collections,"  we  cannot  speak  in  terms  of  too 
earnest  praise. 

"It  is  difficult  to  say  whether  the  narrative  or  autobiographical  interest, 
or  historical  importance,  of  this  work  be  the  more  difficult  sufficiently  to 
appreciate." — Sun,  August  30,  1845. 

Recently  published,   the  Fourth  Edition  of 

In  Thirteen  Volumes,  Small  Octavo,  price  5s.  each,  cloth  lettered. 
*£*  This  edition  of  this  valuable  and  important  work  is  printed  uni 
form  in  size  with  the  works  of  SCOTT,   BYRON,  MOORE,  EDGEWORTH, 
SOUTHEY,  and  others  ;  and  is  enriched  with  a  Portrait  of  the  Author, 
from  a  painting  by  Lover,  and  by  thirteen  Plates  engraved  on  steel,  by 
GOODALL,  from  the  designs  made  expressly  for  this  edition,  by  Harvey, 
into  all  of  which  actual  scenery  has  been  introduced. 

The  Public  are  respectfully  informed,  that  this  edition  has  received  the 
most  searching  and  extensive  revision  by  the  learned  author,  who  has  in 
serted  additional  matter  in  the  text,  as  well  as  the  notes,  fully  equal  to 
the  extent  of  another  volume. 

"  Dr.  Lingard  never  evinces  partiality  ;  he  may  be  accused  of  it  by  those 
whose  eyes  are  distorted  by  the  blemish  they  deprecate,  but  by  none  others. 
He  never  perverts  facts,  and  the  arguments  with  which  he  supports  the 
opinions  which  he  draws  from  the  narration  of  events  are  ever  cogent  and 
perspicuous.  With  a  keen,  searching,  undeviating  truthfulness,  he  has 
rescued  our  annals  from  much  of  the  misrepresentation  which  the  exaggera 
tions  of  partisanship  have  created,  from  much  of  the  obscurity  which  the 
fantastic  ingenuity  of  antiquaries  has  caused,  and  from  many  of  the  sophis 
tical  conclusions  of  speculative  theorists.  This  is  no  slight  boon  to  have 
conferred  both  on  the  present  and  the  future,  but  the  task  has  been  well 
and  ably  performed ."--  Oxford  and  Cambridge  Revieiv,  January,  1846. 

CHARLES    DOLMAN.    61,    NEW     BOND    STREET. 

CHURCH,  containing  an  Account  of  its  Origin,  Government.  Doctrines, 
Worship,  Revenues,  and  Clerical  and  Monastic  Institutions.  By  JOHN 
LINGARD,  D.D.  In  2  vols.  8vo.  price  £1.  4s.  cloth  lettered. 

'*  This  is  an  augmented  edition  of  a  work  long  since  published  by  Dr. 
Lingard,  and  scarcely  so  well  known  as  it  deserves  to  be  ;  but  it  is  so  com 
pletely  recast,  and  contains  so  large  a  proportion  of  fresh  matter,  that  it 
may  be  considered  as  virtually  a  new  book.  If  we  were  asked  from  what 
source  one  could  obtain  the  greatest  Insight  into  the  national  mind  and 
ways  of  thought  of  the  Christian  Anglo-Saxons,  we  should  have  no  hesita 
tion  in  referring  the  inquirer  to  these  pages.  As  a  narration  of  facts,  and 
expounder  of  the  inferences  more  immediately  to  be  drawn  from  them, 
there  is  no  writer  of  the  present  day  who  excels  the  diligent,  accurate,  and 
eloquent  historian  of  England." — Morning  Chronicle,  January  30. 

"  Of  the  Monastic  Institutions  among  the  Anglo-Saxons,  Dr.  Lingard 
has  written  in  a  spirit  of  candour  and  fairness  ;  he  points  out  the  abuses  to 
which  such  communities  are  liable,  and  does  not  conceal  the  fact  that  such 
abuses  frequently  prevailed.  On  the  other  hand,  he  contends  that  the 
monks  were  foremost  in  communicating  the  knowledge  of  the  industrial 
arts,  and  the  taste  for  the  fine  arts,  which  are  the  most  efficient  agents  of 
civilization.  In  particular,  he  shows  how  much  was  accomplished,  by 
their  exertions  in  improving  the  cultivation  of  the  soil.  Dr.  Lingard 
minutely  describes  the  rites  and  ceremonies  of  the  Anglo-Saxons,  and 
incidentally  throws  light  on  their  domestic  habits  and  usages."- 

Athtnoeum,  February  S,  1845. 

Critical  and  Explanatory.  By  a  CATHOLIC.  In  1  vol.  8vo.  price 
10s.  6d.  in  boards. 

Amongst  the  principal  reasons  which  haATe  led  to  this  New  Version, 
are,  first,  to  shew,  in  opposition  to  the  Protestant  principle,  that  the 
Scriptures  are  the  sole  rule  of  faith, — "  The  impracticability  of  draw 
ing  from  the  narratives  of  the  FOUR  EVANGELISTS,  -without  the  aid 
of  oral  testimony  or  tradition,  all  their  knowledge  of  Christian  faith  or 
Chritian  practice." — Vide  PREFACE. 

2ndly.  To  present  a  new  translation  from  the  Original  Greek,  with 
explanatory  and  interesting  notes;  which,  in  removing  the  defects 
that  exist  in  the  present  versions,  and  offering  a  more  elegant  transla 
tion  of  these  divinely-  inspired  books,  should  render  them  more  intel 
ligible  and  attractive,  and  thus  create  a  more  general  attention  to 
their  perusal.  

CATECHETICAL  INSTRUCTIONS  on  the  Doctrines  and 
Worship  of  the  Catholic  Church.  By  JOHN  LINGARD,  D.D. 

A  New  Edition,  revised,  in  18mo.  price  Is. 

This  work  contains  a  short  exposition  of  Catholic  doctine  and 
Catholic  practice,  vith  the  chief  authorities  on  which  that  doctrine 
and  practice  are  founded. 

Also,  another  Edition  of  the  same,  in  larger  type,  I2mo.  price  1  s.  6d 

"A  beautiful  little  volume,  written  with  all  that  sobriety  of  style,  power 
of  language,  and  force  of  logic  for  which  the  venerable  author  is  so  remark 
able."—  Tablet,  Oct.  31, 1340. 


THE  CHURCH  HISTORY  OF  ENGLAND,  from  the  year  1500  to 
with  Notes,  and  a  Continuation  to  the  Beginning  of  the  Present  Century, 
by  the  Rev.  M.  A.  TIERNEY,  F.R.S.,  F.S.A. 

Vols.  I.  to  V.  are  published,  price  12s.  each  in  cloth. 

The  work  of  HUGH  TOOTLE,  better  known  under  the  assumed  name  of 
CHARLES  DODD,  stands  alone  among  the  compilations  of  Catholic  History. 
Commencing  with  the  period  of  her  first  misfortunes  in  this  country,  the 
writer  accompanies  the  ancient  Church  in  all  the  vicissitudes  of  her  course, 
during  the  next  two  centuries.  He  marks  the  origin  of  the  Reformation  in 
the  wayward  passions  of  Henry :  mourns,  with  religion,  over  the  ruined 
altars  and  desecrated  shrines  of  Edward's  reign :  watches  their  alternate 
rise  and  fall  under  the  sister  sovereigns,  Mary  and  Elizabeth  ;  and,  tracing 
the  various  calamities  of  his  Catholic  countrymen  under  the  dynasty  of  the 
Stuarts,  closes  his  work  with  the  closing  fortunes  of  that  unhappy  family. 
The  readers  of  Dodd  are  aware  that  his  history  is  divided  into  eight  parts, 
corresponding  with  the  eight  reigns  over  which  it  extends.  Of  these  parts, 
each  is  again  divided  into  the  three  other  parts  of  History,  Biography,  and 
Records  ;  and  these  are  still  farther  subdivided  into  an  indefinite  number  of 
articles,  according  to  the  variety  of  the  subjects  to  be  treated,  or  to  the  rank 
of  the  several  persons  whose  lives  are  to  be  recorded.  It  is  needless  to  point 
out  the  inconvenience  of  this  complex  and  disjointed  arrangement.  To 
remedy  this  defect,  it  is  proposed,  in  the  present  edition,  to  place  the  work 
under  the  two  grand  divisions  of  History  and  Biography  ;  to  print  the  History 
in  the  earlier,  the  Biography  in  the  latter  volumes  ;  to  subjoin  to  each  an 
Appendix,  containing  its  own  records  properly  arranged :  and  to  insert  a 
reference  in  the  notes  to  each  article  of  that  appendix,  according  as  its 
subject  arises  in  the  course  of  the  narrative.  It  is  only  requisite  to  add,  that 
the  lives,  in  the  biographical  part,  will  be  methodically  disposed  ;  that  the 
authorities,  both  of  Dodd  and  of  the  Editor,  will  be  carefully  stated  in  the 
notes ;  and  that  a  General  Index  to  the  contents  of  the  whole  work  will  be 
given  at  the  end  of  the  Continuation. 

To  be  completed  in  Fourteen  Volumes.  Fifty  Copies  printed  on  large 
Paper  in  royal  8vo.  price  21s.  each  volume,  cloth. 

N.B.  Subscribers'  names  may  be  transmitted  to  the  Publisher  through 
any  Bookseller  in  the  Country. 

The  HISTORY  and  Antiquities  of  the  Castle  and  Town  of  ARUN- 
DEL,  including  the  Biography  of  its  Earls,  from  the  Conquest  to  the 
present  Time.  By  the  Rev.  M.  A.  TIERNEY,  F.R.S.,  F.S.A.,  Chap 
lain  to  his  Grace  the  Duke  of  Norfolk.  In  2  vols.,  royal  8vo.,  illus 
trated  with  numerous  engravings,  Etchings,  and  Pedigrees,  price 
£1.  12s.,  cloth  boards. 

"  When  we  say  that  more  than  one-half  of  this  work  is  Biography,  and 
that  Biography  immediately  connected  with  the  general  history  of  Eng 
land,  it  will  be  perceived  that  this  is  a  work  of  a  more  attractive  charac 
ter  than  can  generally  be  assigned  to  topography." — Gentleman's  M?.$a- 

A  LETTER  to  the  Very  Rev.  G.  CHANDLER,  D.C.L.,  Dean  of 
Chichester,  and  Rector  of  All  Souls,  Langham  Place,  &c.,  &c.,  con 
taining  some  remarks  on  his  Sermon,  preached  in  the  Cathedral 
Church  of  Chichester,  on  Sunday,  October  15,  1843,  "on  the  occasion 
of  publicly  receiving  into  the  Church  a  convert  from  the  Church  of 
Rome."  By  the  Rev.  M.  A.  TIEBNEY,  F.R.S.,  F.S.A.  8vo.. price  Is  G<1. 

CHARLES    DOLMAN     61,    NEW     BOND    STREET.  5 

C,  Dolman  having  purchased  from  the  executors  of  the  late  CHARLES 
BUTLER,  Esq.,  the  whole  remaining  stock  and  property  of  the  greater  part 
of  this  celebrated  Author's  works,  is  enabled  to  offer  them  for  sale  at  the 
prices  annexed. 

SCOTTISH  CATHOLICS  since  the  REFORMATION;  with  a  succinct 
account  of  the  principal  events  in  the  Ecclesiastical  History  of  this 
country  antecedent  to  that  period,  and  in  the  Histories  of  the  Established 
Church,  and  the  Dissenting  and  Evangelical  Congregations ;  and  some 
Historical  Minutes  respecting  the  Temporal  Power  of  the  Popes ;  the 
Separatists  from  the  Church  of  Rome  before  the  Reformation ;  the  society 
of  Jesus;  and  the  Guelphic  Family.  By  CHARLES  BUTLER  Esq.,  of  Lin 
coln's  Inn.  Third  edition,  revised  and  considerably  augmented,  in  4  vols. 
8vo.  cloth  boards.  Price  £1.  16s. 

fourth  edition,  with  a  Letter  on  Ancient  and  Modern  Music.  Volume  II. 
with  an  Essay  on  the  Mystical  Devotions  of  Catholics  and  Protestants ;  a 
Correspondence  between  Dr.  Parr  and  Mr.  Butler ;  and  Considerations  on 
the  present  proceedings  for  the  reform  of  the  English  Courts  of  Equity,  &c. 
2  vols.  8vo.  cluth  boards.  Price  10s.  6d. 

Volume  II.  separate,  cloth  boards.     Price  4s.  6d. 

VINDICATION  of  the  "  BOOK  of  the  ROMAN  CATHOLIC 
CHURo'H,"  against  the  Rev.  George  Townsend's  "  Accusations  of  History 
against  the  Church  of  Rome;"  with  notices  of  some  charges  brought 
against  the  "  Book  of  the  Roman  Catholic  Church,"  in  the  publications  of 
Dr.  Phillpotts,  Dr.  Todd,  Blanco  White,  and  Dr.  Southey.  By  CHARLES 
BUTLER,  Esq. ;  with  copies  of  Dr.  Phillpotts's  Fourth  Letter  to  Mr. 
Butler,  containing  a  charge  against  Dr.  Lingard  ;  a  Letter  of  Dr.  Lingard 
to  Mr.  Butler  in  reply  to  the  charge :  a  further  crimination  of  Dr.  Lingard 
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The  LIFE  of  ERASMUS,  with  Historical  Remarks  on  the  State  of 
Literature  between  the  Tenth  and  Sixteenth  Centuries.  By  CHARLES 
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The  LIFE  of  HUGO  GROTIUS,  with  Brief  Minutes  of  the  Civil, 
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added,  in  two  appendixes,  some  Account  of  the  Formularies,  Confessions  of 
Faith,  or  Symbolic  Books  of  the  Roman  Catholic,  Greek,  and  principal 
Protestant  Churches,  with  an  Account  of  the  Attempts  made  at  different 
times  for  the  reunion  of  Christians.  By  CHARLES  BUTLER,  Esq.  8vo. 
4s.  6d.  cloth  boards. 

LIFE  of  HENRY  FRANCIS  D'AGUESSEAU,  Chancellor  of  France ;  and 
of  his  Ordonnances  for  consolidating  and  amending  certain  portions  of  the 
French  Law ;  and  an  Historical  and  Literary  Account  of  the  Roman  and 
Canon  Law.     By  CHARLES  BUTLER,  Esq.     8vo.  3s.  6d.  cloth  boards. 
Just  published,  price  2s.  with  a  Frontispiece, 

by  the  Rev.  J.  A.  HEARN.  Dedicated  to  the  Right  Rev.  Dr.  Griffiths,  Bishop 
of  Olena.  The  profits  of  this  poem  are  to  be  appropriated  to  the  poor 
funds  of  the  Sisters  of  Mercy,  Queen's-square,  and  the  Brothers  of  St. 
Vincent  de  Paul,  London.  Fifty  copies  will  be  printed  on  large  paper,  and 
illustrated  with  five  plates  by  Overbeck. 


Now  in  course  of  publication,  in  Monthly  Parts.  2s.  each,  large  8vo.,  double 

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The  Mores  Catholici,  from,  the  prodigious  extent  of  information,  se 
lected  out  of  the  most  recondite  and  time-forgotten  sources,  and  con 
densed  in  its  pages  by  an  elegance  of  diction  and  purity  of  style  peculiar 
to  itself,  stands  unrivalled  in  the  literature  of  the  age.  *  The  principal  ob 
ject  of  this  work  being  to  exhibit  the  influence  of  Catholic  Christianity 
over  the  civilized  world  during  the  Middle  Ages,  when,  in  so  far  as  is 
practicable  to  humanity,  there  was  but  one  fold  and  one  Shepherd,  the 
author  has  brought  to  bear  upon  his  subject  an  intimate  and  thorough  ac 
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the  literary  stores  of  Europe,  accumulated  for  centuries  past. 

It  is  expected  to  be  completed  in  about  36  Parts,  and  will  form  three 
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well  as  early  printed  Books,  Illuminated  Manuscripts,  and  FATHERS  of 
the  CHURCH,  including  some  recent  importations  from  the  Continent, 
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Gentlemen  desirous  of  receiving  this  Catalogue  are  respectfully  requested 
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CHARLES    DOLMAN,    61,    NEW    BOND    STREET.  7 

BUTLER  (REV.  ALB  AN)  .—The  LIVES  of  the  FATHERS, 
Martyrs,  and  other  Principal  Saints.  With  a  Preface  by  the  Right 
Rev.  Dr.  Doyle,  and  containing  all  the  Chronological  Centenary 
Tables  and  General  Indexes  formerly  attached  to  the  twelve  volume 
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The  same  on  fine  and  large  paper,  2  vols.,  imperial  8  vo.,  price  £l  10s., 
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The  same,  illustrated  with  forty-two  engravings  on  India  paper, 
bound  in  4  volumes,  imperial  8vo.,  cloth  lettered,  5?2.  2s. 

OF  THE  SAINTS  to  the  Present  time,  with  Bibliographical 
Accounts  of  the  Holy  Family,  Pope  Pius  VI.,  Cardinal  Ximenes, 
Cardinal  Bellarmine,  Bartholomew  de  Martyribus,  and  St.  Vincent  de 
Paul,  with  Historical  Minutes  of  the  Society  of  Jesus.  By  CHARLES 
BUTLEK,  Esq.,  8vo.,  cloth  boards,  5s. 

The  TRUTHS  of  the  CATHOLIC  RELIGION,  proved  from 
Scripture  alone,  in  a  Series  of  Lectures.  By  THOMAS  BUTLER,  D.D. 
In  2  vols.,  12mo.,  price  5s. 

The  DUBLIN  REVIEW,  Vols.  I  to  XVI. 

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cation,  as  only  a  limited  number  of  sets  can  be  made  up. 

HIERURGIA,  or  the  HOLY  SACRIFICE  of  the  MASS,  with 
Notes  and  Dissertations  elucidating  its  Doctrines  and  its  Ceremonies. 
By  DANIEL  ROCK,  D.D.  In  2  vols.,  8vo,  with  above  40  Plates,,  price 
£  1.8s.,  cloth  lettered. 

In  the  Second  Part  are  treated  at  length — Transubstantiation, 
Relics,  Invocations  of  Saints  and  Angels,  Purgatory,  the  use  of  Holy 
Water,  Lights,  and  Incense,  the  Dyptichs,  &c.,  with  Appendixes 
containing  "  Extracts  from  Ancient  Liturgies,"  &c. 

N.B. — A  few  copies  taken  off  with  the  Plates  on  India  Paper,  price 
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CHURCH;  shewing  that  the  former  are  no  less  convincing  than  the 
latter  are  propitious  to  the  happiness  of  society.  By  the  Most  Rev. 
JOHN  MACHALE,  D.  D.,  Archbishop  of  Tuam.  Second  Edition 
revised,  with  additional  notes.  In  1  vol.  8vo.,  cloth  lettered,  price  12s. 

Recently  published,  on  one  large  Folio  Sheet,  price  2s.  6d. 

an  Historical  View  of  the  Catholic  Church  in  every  Age  and  Country, 
from  the  Apostles'  days  to  the  present  time.  Compiled  by  JAMES  AUSTIN 



Just  published,  price  Five  Shillings  and  sixpence,  cloth  lettered. 

POVERTY  AND  THE  BARONET'S  FAMILY;  a  Catholic  Story,  by' 
the  late  HENRY  DIGBY  BESTE,  Esq.,  M.  A.,  Fellow  of  St.  Mary  Mag 
dalen  College,  Oxford  ;  Originator  of  the  Religious  Opinions  of  "  Modern 

"Pride,  or  prudery,  or  delicacy,  or  love  of  ease,  keep  one  half  of  the 
world  out  of  the  way  of  observing  what  the  other  half  suffer."— PALEY. 

In  Octavo,  price  Eightpence. 

MEMORIALE  RITUUM,  pro  aliquibus  prestantioribus,  sacris  func- 
tionibus,  persolvendis  in  minoribus  ecclesiis  Parochialibus.  Benedict!  XIII. 
jussu  primo  editum.  Superiorura  Permissu. 




TICES  of  the  CATHOLIC  CHURCH,  delivered  at  St.  Mary's, 
Moorfields,  during  the  Lent  of  1836.  Second  Edition,  entirely 
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price  5s.  6d.,  cloth. 

SCIENCE  and  REVEALED  RELIGION,  with  Map  and  Plates. 
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the  Blessed  Eucharist.  Delivered  in  the  English  College,  Rome. 
Part  I.  Scriptural  Proofs,  8vo.,  price  8s.  6d.,  cloth  boards.  Part  II. 
Proofs  from  Tradition,  preparing  for  Press. 

A  REPLY  to  DR.  TURTON.— Philalethes  Cantabrigiensis,  the 
British  Critic,  and  the  Church  of  England  Quarterly  Review,  on  the 
Catholic  Doctrine  of  the  Eucharist.  In  8vo.,  price  6s.  boards. 

HOLY  WEEK,  as  Performed  in  the  Papal  Chapels,  delivered  in 
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ings,  and  a  Plan  of  the  Papal  Chapels.  In  8vo.,  price  8s.  6d.,  in  cloth 

A  LETTER  addressed  to  the  Rev.  J.  H.  NEWMAN,  upon  some 
Passages  in  his  Letter  to  the  Rev.  Dr.  JELF.  Fourth  Edition,  8vo.,  Is. 

REMARKS  on  a  Letter  from  the  Rev.  W.  PALMER,  M.A.,  of 
Worcester  College,  Oxford.  In  8vo.,  price  2s.  6d. 

A  LETTER  on  CATHOLIC  UNITY,  addressed  to  the  Right  HOP 
the  Earl  of  Shrewsbury.  In  8vo.,  Is. 

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of  SAN  SEVERING,  and  St.  VERONICA  GIUL1ANA,  whose 
Canonization  took  place  on  Trinity  Sunday,  26th  of  May,  1839.  Edited 
by  the  Right  Rev.  Dr.  WISEMAN. 

CHARLES    DOLMAN,     61,    NEW    BOND    STREET.  9 

CONTRASTS;  or,  a  PARALLEL,  between  the  NOBLE 
EDIFICES  of  the  MIDDLE  AGES,  and  the  Corresponding  Build 
ings  of  the  Present  Day,  setting  forth  the  present  decay  of  pure  taste. 
Accompained  by  appropriate  text.  By  A.  WELBY  PUGIN,  Architect. 
In  1  vol.  4to.  Price  £1.  10s.  j  cloth  lettered.  The  Second  Edition, 
much  enlarged. 

This  edition,  which  contains  several  new  and  additional  illustrations  both 
on  copper  and  wood,  has  been  carefully  purged  of  all  the  original  errors, 
and  many  seeming  inconsistencies  explained,  and  the  text  has  also  been 
considerably  enlarged. 

TECTURE  in  ENGLAND.  By  A.  WELBY  PUGIN,  Esq.  Illus 
trated  with  Nineteen  Engravings  on  Wood  and  Sixteen  on  Copper. 
8vo.,  price  9s.,  cloth.  Republished  from  the  Dublin  Review. 


Being  a  Republication  of  some  of  the  rare  Controversial  and  Devo 
tional  Writings  of  the  15th  and  16th  Centuries. 

The  First  Volume  consists  of 

FRANCIS  WALSIXGHAM,  Deacon  of  the  Protestant  Church,  before  his 
change  to  the  Catholic.  Wherein  is  related  how  first  he  fell  into  his 
doubts,  and  how,  for  final  resolution  thereof,  he  repaired  unto  his 
Majesty,  who  remitted  him  to  the  L.  of  Canterbury,  and  he  to  other 
learned  men  ;  and  what  the  issue  was  of  all  those  Conferences.  Form 
ing  a  thick  volume,  crown  8vo.,  hansomely  printed,  price  8s. 

The  Second  Volume,  price  3s.  contains  two  rare  works,  entitled, 
A  SHORT  and  PLAIN  WAY  to  the  CHURCH,  composed  many 
years  since  by  that  eminent  divine,  Mr.  RICHARD  HUDDLESTON,  of 
the  English  Congregation,  of  the  Order  of  St.  Benedict ;  to  which  is 
annexed  King  Charles  II. 's  papers  found  in  his  closet,  with  an  account  of 
what  occurred  on  his  death-bed  in  regard  to  religion  ;  and  a  summary 
of  occurences  relating  to  his  miraculous  preservation  after  the  defeat  of 
Ais  army  at  Worcester.  Published  by  his  nephew,  Mr.  John  Huddleston, 
Priest  of  the  same  congregation. 


ERASTUS  SENIOR  scholastically  demonstrating  this  conclusion, 
that  (admitting  their  Lambeth  records  for  true)  those  called  Bishops 
here  in  England  are  no  Bishops,  either  in  order  or  jurisdiction,  or 
so  much  as  legal:  in  answer  to  Mason,  Heylin,  and  Bramhall.  By 
PETER  TALBOT,  Archbishop  of  Dublin, — first  printed  in  1662. 

The  Third  Volume  is  now  at  press,  and  will  consist  of  some  portion 
of  the  works  of  SIR  THOMAS  MORE. 

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from  the  Fourth  Edition  of  the  French.  By  CHARLES  SEAGER,  M.  A., 
price  Is.  6d. 

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HISTORY  of  IRELAND,  from  the  earliest  Period  to  the  Year 
1245,  when  the  ANNALS  of  BOYLE,  which  are  adopted  and  embodied 
as  the  running  text  authority,  terminate :  with  a  brief  essay  on  the 
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Statistical  and  Historical  Notices  of  the  BARONY  of  BOYLE.  By 
JOHN  D'ALTON,  Esq.,  Barrister-at-Law,  M.R.I.A.,  &c.,  &c.,  &c. 

BRENAN  (Rev.  M.  J.  O.S.F.)  'An  Ecclesiastical  History  of 
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the  STATE.  Being  a  refutation  of  certain  Puseyite  claims  advanced 
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before  the  Academy  of  the  Catholic  Religion,  by  the  Rev.  P.  COOPER, 
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The  FLOWERS  of  HEAVEN;  or,  the  Examples  of  the  Saints, 

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to  GOD;  being  Devout  Enter 
tainments  of  the  Soul  with  God,  fitted  for  all  States  and  Conditions  of 
Christians,  by  the  Rev.  JOHN  GOTHER.  A  new  Edition,  in  1  voL, 
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From  the  Roman  Breviary,  Missal  and  Ritual  in  Latin  and  English. 
Handsomely  printed,  uniform  with  the  Miss  il  and  Vespers. 

CHARLES     DOLMAN,    61,     NEW     BOND     STREET.  11 

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"  Geraldine,  a  Tale  of  Conscience,"  with  the  approbation  of  the  Right 
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ture,  but  to  the  general  reader,  and  we  strongly  recommend  a  perusal." — 
Blackwood's  Lady's  Magazine. 

A  JOURNEY  from  LA  TRAPPE  to  ROME.  By  the  late. 
Reverend  Father  MARIE-JOSEPH  DE  GERAMB,  Abbot  and  Procu 
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CHANTAL,  Foundress  of  the  Order  of  the  Visitation,  collected 
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TION,  principally  as  to  its  Rise  and  Progress  in  England,  in  a  Series 
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present  and  former  times.  Edited  by  the  Rev.  H.  SMITH.  12mo. 
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MERCY,  in  SIXTEEN  Designs,  engraved  in  outline,  with  descriptive 
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A  CATECHISM  of  the  HISTORY  of  ENGLAND,  by  a  Lady. 
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N.B.  This  Catechism  was  composed  by  the  Rev.  A.  Clinton. 

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LIFE  and  TIMES  of  SIR  THOMAS  MORE,  illustrated  from 
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With  Portrait.  Small  8vo.  3s. 

A  GOLDEN  TREATISE  of  MENTAL  PRAYER,  vith  divers 
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PETER  DE  ALCANTARA,  of  the  Seraph ical  Order  of  St.  Francis, 
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Willoughby.  To  which  is  prefixed  a  brief  relation  of  the  Life  and 
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the  Friars  Minors,  at  Douay,  crowned  with  Martyrdom,  at  London, 
llth  of  April,  1643.  Faithfully  translated  out  of  the  Sixth  and  last 
Latin  Edition  into  English,  and  published  at  Douay,  in  1674,  and 
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EULES  of  a  CHRISTIAN  LIFE,  selected  from  the  most 
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Second  Edition,  revised  and  corrected  ;  and  to  which  are  addedt 
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Abbe  Ph.  Gerbet,  by  a  Catholic  Clergyman.  In  12mo.  price  4s.  6d. 
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QUEENE  BESSE.  12mo.  price  4s.  6d.  boards. 

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price  6s. 

"  Considered  as  a  romance,  or  rather  as  a  novel  instinct  with  genuine 
poesy,  the  poesy  of  action  and  of  feeling,  \re  confess  that  we  no  sooner  get 
to  the  end  of  it  than  we  immediately  wish  to  begin  it  over  again.  Con 
sidered  as  a  composition,  we  commend  it  heartily  to  the  student  of  style 
the  English  is  elegant  and  finished ;  is  polished  to  the  last  delicacy  of  re 
fined  elaboration.  These  are  great  merits;  but  greater  are  behind.  For 
as  a  book  of  principle  and  of  sentiment  we  have  not  words  sufficiently  to 
express  our  respect  for  a  morality  so  pure  and  so  exalted  as  tnat  which  it 
V^ry  charmingly  inculcates.— Oxford  and  Cambridge  Review,  Oct.,  1845, 

CHARLES    DOLMAN     61,    NEW    BOND    STREET-  » 

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A  BRIEF  PLEA  for  the  OLD  FAITH  and  the  OLD  TIMES 
of  MERRIE  ENGLAND:  when  MEN  had  leisure  for  LIFE,  and 
time  to  DIE;  addressed  principally  to  the  Industrial  Classes  of  his 
Fellow  Countrymen  and  Women,  by  their  sincere  well-wisher, 

the  POPE'S  SUPREMACY?  Answered  in  a  Letter  to  LORD 
JOHN  MANNERS  from  DANIEL  ROCK,  D.  D.  In  Svo.  price  3s.  6d. 

LISLE  PHILLIPS,  Esq.,  descriptive  of  the  Estatica  of  Caldaro 
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Enlarged;  to  which  is  aided  the  relation  of  three  successive  visits 
to  the  Estatica  of  Monte  Sansavino  in  May,  1842.  8vo.  price 
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GREGORIAN  MUSIC,  with  Chants,  as  used  in  Rome,  for  High 
Mass,  Vespers,  Complin,  Benediction,  Holy  Week,  and  the  Litanies. 
Compiled  chiefly  from  Alfieri  and  Berti;  with  the  approbation  of  the 
Right  Reverend  Vicars  Apostolic.  By  the  Rev.  JAMES  JONES. 
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To  the  Rev.  James  Jones. — "  We  approve  of  the  Manual  of  In 
structions  on  Plain-Chant,  or  Gregorian  Music,  with  the  Chants,  as 
used  in  Rome,  for  Higta  Mass.  Vespers,  Complin,  Benediction,  Holy 
Week,  and  the  Litanies,  compiled  by  you  chiefly  from  Alfieri  and 
Berti,  and  permit  the  use  of  it  in  our  respective  districts. 

^Thomas,  Bishop  of  Cambyso-  >^George,Bp.of  Tloa,  V.A.  Lanc.D. 

polis,  V.  A.C.D.  |»|<James,Bp.  of  Samaria,  Coadjutor. 

^Nicholas,    Bp.     of    Melipota-'AThomas  Joseph,  Bp. of  Apollonia, 

mus,  Coadjutor.  V.A.  Welsh  D. 

AThomas,Bp.of  Olena,V.A.L.D.  *Francis,Bp.  of  Abydos,  V.A.N.D. 
Ajohn,  Bp.  of  Trachis, V.A.  Y.D.  AWilliam,Bp.  of  Longo,  Coadjutor. 
>|<  William,   Bishop    of  Ariopolis^Charles.,  Bp.  of  Pella,  V.  A.W.D. 

"September,  1845." 

"  A  perfect  vade-mecum  for  the  Priest  and  the  Choir,  where  the  Grego 
rian  chant  is  preferred,  as  it  always  ought  to  be,  to  the  unauthorized  variety 
which  prevails  in  most  of  our  chapels  and  churches.  The  book  is  very 
neatly,  nay,  beautifully  printed.  We  augur  for  it  a  deservedly  extensive 
sale."—  Tablet,  25th  October,  1845. 

"  This  book  ought  to  be  in  the  hands  of  every  priest ;  and  by  him  forced 
into  the  hands  of  every  chorister  in  his  church." — Dolman's  Magazine  for 

THE  HISTORY  OF  THE  CHURCH,  translated  from  the  Ger 
man  of  the  Rev.  J.  J.  lo.  DOLLINGER,  D.D.,  Professor  of  Theology  in 
the  Royal  University  of  Munich,  by  the  Rev.  EDWARD  Cox,  D.D. 
President  of  St.  Edmund's  College.  To  be  completed  in  seven  or 
eight  volumes.  Vols.  1  to  4  are  published,  price  dtl.  14s.  in  cloth. 



CATHOLIC  PULPIT,  containing  Sermons  for  all  the  Sundays 
and  Holidays  in  the  year.  2  vols.,  8vo.,  11s.,  bds. 

SERMONS  on  various  Moral  and  Religious  Subjects  for  all  the 
Sundays  and  some  of  the  Festivals  of  the  year,  by  the  Rev.  JAMES 
ARCHER,  D.D.  2  vols.,  8vo.,  £l.  Is.,  boards. 

SERMONS  for  FESTIVALS,  and  a  second  series  of  Sermons  for 
every  Sunday  in  the  year,  by  the  Rev.  JAMES  ARCHER,  D.D.,  2  vols., 
8vo.,  18s.,  boards. 

ARCHER.  D.D.,  forming  one  thin  volume,  8vo.,  2s.  6d.,  boards. 

SERMONS  on  the  GOSPELS  for  every  Sunday  in  the  year,  by 
the  Rev.  JAMES  WHEELER.  2  vols.,  8vo.,  18s. 

SERMONS  for  the  DIFFERENT  SUNDAYS  of  the  year  and 
some  of  the  Festivals,  and  on  other  important  subjects,  by  the  Rev. 
Thomas  White,  arranged  from  his  MSS.  by  the  Rev.  JOHN  LINGARD, 
D.D.  2  vols.,  8vo.,  18s.  boards. 

PEACH  (Rev.  Edward),  A  Series  of  Familiar  Discourses  for  every 
Sunday  and  Festival  of  the  Year.  2  vols.,  8vo.,  boards,  10s. 

THE  VESPERS  BOOK,  for  the  USE  of  the  LAITY. 
According  to  the  Roman  Breviary,  with  the  Offices  of  the  English 
Saints,  and  all  the  New  Offices  in  their  respective  places.  Newly 
arranged  and  translated  by  the  Rev.  F.  C.  HUSENBETH,  with  the 
approbation  of  all  the  Right  Rev.  the  Vicars- Apostolic  of  England. 
Second  Edition,  price  4s.,  bound  in  coloured  leather. 


We  approve  of  the  "  Vespers  Book  for  the  use  of  the  Laity,"  newly 
arranged  and  translated  by  the  Rev.  F.  C.  Husenbeth,  and  permit  the 
publication  and  use  of  it  in  our  respective  Districts. 

•^Nicholas,  Bp.    of   Melipotamus, 

§3hn.  Bp.  of  Trachis,  V.A.Y.D. 
homas,  Bp.  of  Olena,  V.A.L.D. 
eorge,  Bp.  of  Tloa,  V.A.L.D. 
homas  Joseph,  Bp.  of  Apol- 

lonia,  V.A.  Welsh  D. 
>|<Francis,  Bp.  of  Abydos,  V.A.N.D. 

^William,    Bp.    of    Ariopolis, 

Augustin,  Bp.  of  Siga, 

^Thomas,  Bp.  of  Cambysopolis. 

June  2  5th,  1841. 

The  NEW  MONTH  of  MARY;  or,  Reflections  for  each  Day  of 
the  Month,  on  the  different  Titles  applied  to  the  Holy  Mother  of  God 
in  the  Litany  of  Loretto:  principally  designed  for  the  Month  of  May. 
By  the  Very  Rev.  P.  R.  KENRICK.  In  18mo.,  price  Is.  6d. 

THE  DEVOTION  OF  CALVARY,  or  Meditations  on  the  Passion  of 
our  Lord  and  Saviour  Jesus  Christ,  from  the  French  of'Father  J.  CRASSET 
of  the  Society  of  Jesus. 

Done  up  in  a  neat  wrapper,  price  One  Shilling. 

CHARLES  DOLMAN,  61,  NEW  BOND  STREET.        15 

evidenced  by  their  Symbolical  Writings.  By  JOHN  A.  MOEHLER,  D.D., 
Dean  of  Wurzburg,  and  late  Professor  of  Theology  at  the  University  of 
Munich.  Translated  from  the  German,  with  a  Memoir  of  the  Author, 
preceded  by  an  Historical  Sketch  of  the  State  of  Protestantism  and 
Catholicism  in  German  for  the  last  hundred  years,  by  JAMES  BURTON- 
ROBERTSON,  Esq.,  translator  of  Schlegel's  •'  Philosophy  of  History."  In 
2  vols.  8vo.  price  18s.  boards. 

"  MOEHLER'  SYMBOLISM"  is  indisputably  the  most  powerful  defence  of 
Catholicism  that  has  appeared  in  modern  times,  and,  as  such,  is  deserving 
of  the  most  serious  attention.  It  also  tends,  at  the  same  time,  towards  a 
mutual  reconciliation  of  the  two  parties,  by  exposing  unreservedly,  though 
dispassionately,  their  differences  on  points  of  faith;  the  arguments  being 
reduced,  as  it  were,  almost  to  a  simple  comparison  of  the  authentic  docu 
ments,  of  the  different  confessions.  This  celebrated  work  has  already 
passed  through  FIVE  Editions  in  Germany. 

Just  published,  in  three  Volumes,  price  10s.  Gd.  each,  cloth  lettered, 
THE  FAITH  OF    CATHOLICS  on  certain   Points  of  Contro 
versy,  Confirmed  by  Scripture,  and  attested  by  the  Fathers  of  the 
first  five  centuries  of  the  Church.     Revised  and  greatly  enlarged,  by 
the  Rev.  J.  WATERWORTH. 


VOLUME  THE  FIRST.— The  Rule  of  Faith;  the  Authority  of  the 
Church;  the  Marks  of  the  Church.  Unity,  Visibility,  Indefectibility, 
Apostolicity,  Catholicity,  Sanctity;  the  Roman  Catholic  Church;  the 
Scriptures;  the  Church,  the  Expounder  of  the  Scriptures;  Private 
Judgment:  Apostolical  Tradition;  the  Councils. 

VOLUME  THE  SECOND. — The  Primacy  of  St.  Peter  and  of  his 
Successors;  Baptism;  Confirmation;  the  Eucharist;  Discipline  of  the 
Secret;  the  Liturgies;  Communion  in  One  Kind;  Sacrifice  of  the 

VOLUME  THE  THIRD. — Penance,  Contrition,  Confession,  Satisfac 
tion;  Indulgences;  Purgatory;  Extreme  Unction;  Holy  Orders; 
Celibacy  of  the  Clergy;  Matrimony;  Relics;  Invocation  of  Angels 
and  Saints;  Precepts  of  the  Church;  Fast  of  Lent;  Ceremonies; 
Sign  of  the  Cross;  Holy  Water,  General  Index. 

The  FLOWERS  of  PIETY,  selected  from  approved  sources,  and 
adapted  for  general  use.  48mo.,  cloth,  Is.;  roan,  gilt  edges,  2s. 

The  DIAMOND  CATHOLIC  MANUAL,  containing  Spiritual 
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and  English.  48mo.,  cloth.  10d.;  roan  tuck,  or  roan  embossed,  Is.  6d. 

The  DEVOUT  COMMUNICANT,  or  Pious  Meditations  and 
Aspirations  for  three  days  before  and  after  receiving  the  Holy  Eucha 
rist.  To  which  is  added,  a  method  of  visiting  the  Blessed  Sacrament 
with  fervent  Prayers  and  Acts  of  Devotion.  By  the  Rev.  P.  BAKER, 
O.S.F.  Price  Is.  6d.,  bound  in  cloth,  a  new  edition,  in  large  type. 



The  MISSAL  for  the  USE  of  the  LAITY:  With  the  Masses  for 
all  the  Days  throughout  the  year,  according  to  the  Roman  Missal; 
and  those  for  the  English  Saints  in  their  respective  places.  Newly 
arranged  and  in  great  measure  translated  by  the  Rev.  F.  C.  HUSEN- 
BETH.  Fourth  Edition,  improved,  with  a  Supplement,  containing  the 
New  Masses  recently  authorised  for  England.  Price  5s.  6d.,  em 
bossed  roan,  gilt  edges,  and  7s.  calf  gilt. 


We  approve  of  the  "  Missal  for  the  use  of  the  Laity,"  prepared  by 
the  Rev.  F.  C.  Husenbeth,  and  permit  the  use  of  it  in  our  respective 

^William,     Bp. 

of  Ariopolis 

§>hn,  Bp.  of  Trachis,  V.A.Y.D. 
homas,  Bp.  of  Olena,  V.A.L.D. 
eorge,  Bp.  of  Tloa,  Y. A.L.D. 
homas  Joseph,  Bp.  of  Apol- 

lonia,  V.A.  Welsh  D. 
^Francis,  Bp.  of  Abydos,  V.A.N.D. 

»J«Peter  Augustin,  Bp.   of  Siga, 

»|<Thomas,  Bp.  of  Cambysopolis, 

^Nicholas   Bp.  of  Melipotamus, 

January  12,  1843. 

N.B.— The  Missal  may  be  had  either  with  or  without  Plates,  at  the 
option  of  the  Purchaser.  Some  copies  are  kept  bound  in  the  ancient  Mo 
nastic  Style  of  the  Middle  Ages,  from  designs  by  A.  Welby  Pugin,  Esq. 
and  adorned  with  brass  corners  and  clasps  in  the  same  style ;  and  also 
some  are  splendidly  bound  in  rich  velvet,  with  metal  gilt  corners  and 


Twelve  plates  by  Overbeck,  5s.  the 
Set,  or  separately  6d.  each,  viz. 

The  Nativity 

The  Saviour  seated,  bearing  the 

Plates  designed  by  A.  Welby  Pugin, 

2s.  the  Set,  containing — 
The  Celebration  of  High  Mass 
The  Crucifixion 

The  Adoration  of  the  Shepherds 
The  Annunciation 
The  Resurrection 
The  Descent  of  the  Holy  Spirit 

N.B.  —  Copies  are  kept  on  Sale 
with  an  Illuminated  Title  in  gold 
and  colours,  designed  by  A.  W. 
Pugin,  Esq.,  in  every  style  of  bind- 

The  Death  of  St.  Joseph 

The  Assumption  of  the  B.V.M. 

The  Last  Supper 

The  Mount  of  Olives 

Jesus  stript  of  his  Garments 

The  Crucifixion 

The  Entombment 

The  Resurrection 

The  Ascension 

The  Descent  of  the  Holy  Spirit. 

Mrs.  CALLCOTT,  Illustrated  with  Twelve  Drawings  by  the  late  Sir 

This  work  was  privately  printed  for  the  Author  in  1839,  and  is  now; 
for  the  first  time  offered  for  sale,  price  7s.  6d.,  in  imperial  quarto, 
both  lettered. 

CHARLES    POLMAN,    61,    NEW    BOND    STREET.  17 




IN    THE    PRESS, 
To  be  Ready  Shortly,   Price  Sixpence, 



By  A.  M.  S. 



By  A.  M.  S. 



***  Some  years  back  the  publication  of  a  SERIES  OF  HISTORICAL 
CATECHISMS  was  commenced  with  a  Catechism  of  the  History  of 
England,  published  in  1840,  after  which  the  design  was,  from  various 
causes,  interrupted  and  delayed;  but  is  now  resumed  with  the  intention, 
of  proceeding  actively  with  the  Series. 

THE  FLOWERS  OF  HEAVEN,  or  the  Examples  of  the  Saints  pro 
posed  to  the  imitation  of  Christians  ;  translated  from  the  French  of  Abbe 

1  vol.  18mo.,  neat  in  cloth,  lettered,  price  2s.  6d. 

MANUAL  OF  CATHOLIC  MELODIES,  or  a  compilation  of  Hymns 
Anthems,  Psalms,  &c.,  with  appropriate  Airs  and  Devotional  Exercises,  for 
the  ordinary  occasions  of  Catholic  piety  and  worship. 

1  vol.  12mo.,  price  7s.,  done  up  neatly  in  cloth. 

Just  Published,  in  post  octavo,  handsomely  bound  in  Crimson  Cloth, 
Price  7s.  6d.,  and  Gilt,  8s.  6d. ; 

Elegantly  bound  in  Crimson  Morocco,  suitable  for 
Christmas  Presents,  15s. ; 

TALES      OF      THE      CENTURY; 



BETWEEN  THE  YEARS  1746  AND  1846. 

SORIFSKI.  &  r,n,\!?r.T?s  pnwAun  STUART. 



Edited  by  the  Rev.  EDWARD  PRICE, 
Aided  by  occasional  contributions  from 

The  Rev.  DR.  LINGARD, 
"    Rev.  DR.  ROCK, 

"     Rev.M.A.TlERNEY,F.S.A.,F.R.S. 

J.  R.  BESTE,  Esa., 

L.  S.  BUCKINGHAM,  Esa., 

C.  E.  JERNINGHAM,  Esa. 
C.  KENT,  Esa., 
W.  TURNBULL,  Esa., 
and  others. 

Vols.  I.  to  IV,  being  completed,  may  be  had,  bound  in  cloth  and  lettered, 
price  10s.  6d.  each,  or  £1  10s.  for  the  set. 

Published  Monthly,  price  2s. 

illustrated  in  Twelve  Plates,  engraved  on  steel  from  the  designs  of 

Proofs  on  India  paper,  price  10s.  the  set;  single  plates  Is.  each. 
Plain  prints,  price  5s.  the  set;  single  plates,  6d.  each. 


The  Nativity 

The  Saviour  seated,  bearing  the 

Jesus  stript  of  his  Garments 
The  Crucifixion 
The  Entombment 


The  Death  of  St.  Joseph  The  Resurrection 

The  Assumption  of  the  B.  V.  M.  j  The  Ascension 

The  Last  Supper  The  Descent  of  the  Holy  Spirit. 

The  Mount  of  Olives 

Also  a  beautiful  Engraving  from  the  design  of  Frederic  Overbeck, 
of  the 

DEAD  CHRIST  and  the  BLESSED  VIRGIN,  engraved  by 
LEWIS  GRUNER.  Proofs  on  India  paper,  4s. ;  plain  prints,  Is.  6d. 

THE  GOOD  SHEPHERD,  by  Frederic  Overbeck,  engraved  by 
LEWIS  GURNER.  Proofs  on  India  paper,  3s.;  plain  prints,  Is.  6d. 

Just  Published,  the  Second  Edition,  enlarged,  price  Is. 



ated  from  the  Latin  by  C.  SEAGER,  M.A.,  with  a  Preface  by  the 
Right  Rev.  N.  WISEMAN,  D.D.,  Bishop  of  Melipotamus. 

IN    THE    PRESS. 

A  SELECTION  of  ESSAYS  and  ARTICLES  from  the  "  Dublin  Re- 
iew,"  by  the  Right  Rev.  Dr.  WISEMAN,  Bishop  of  Melipotamus. 


1st.  ON  PROTESTANTISM. — On  the  Oxford  Controversy — Tracts  for  the 
Times — Anglican  Theory  of  Dogmatic  Authority — Anglican  Claims  of 
Apostolical  Succession — Catholic  and  Anglican  Churches — Froude's  Re 
mains — Protestantism  of  the  Anglican  Church — The  Anglican  System — 
The  Fourth  of  October. 

2nd.  ON  CATHOLIC  TOPICS. — Catholicity  in  England— Catholic  Ver 
sion  of  Scripture — Christian  Inscription — Prayer  and  Prayer-books — 
National  Holy  Days — Minor  Rites  and  Offices — Ancient  and  Modern 


1st.  HISTORICAL. — Authority  of  Holy  See  in  America — St.  Elizabeth 
f  Hungary — Pope  Boniface  VIII. — Persecution  in  Prussia — Russia. 

2nd.  ON  ITALY. — Religions  in  Italy — Italian  Guides  and  Tourists — Su- 
jerficial  Travelling — Italian  Gesticulation — Roman  Forum. 

To  form  Two  Volumes.     8vo. 

Subscribers'  names  received  by  C.  DOLMAN,  61,  New  Bond-street,  and  all 

other  Booksellers. 

Just  Published,  in  8vo.  price  2s.  6d. 

REMARKS    upon    certain    ANGLICAN    THEORIES   of   UNITY, 

Just  Published,  in  two  Volumes,  12mo.,  price  10s.,  cloth  lettered, 

By  the  Authoress  of 


1. — The  Vigil  of  St.  Laurence. 

2. — Blanche's  Confirmation. 

3._The  Sister  Penitents. 

4.— The  Altar  at  Woodbank. 

5. — Clyff  Abbey,  or  the  Last  Anointing. 

6.— The  Priest  of  Northumbria;  an  Anglo-Saxon  Tale. 

7. — The  Spousal  Cross. 


IN     THE     PRESS. 






Translated  from  the  French 

BY    C.    F.    AUDLEY,    Esa. 

In  Two  Volumes,  8vo. 

Now  in  course  of  publication, 
In  Weekly  Numbers  Price  One  Shilling,  beautifully  illustrated, 

THE  LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS.  Written  anew  from  Ancient  Docu. 
raents  and  Traditions,  by  a  Society  of  Catholic  clergymen  and  writers 
under  the  direction  of  a  committee,  appointed  by  his  Grace  the  Archbishoj 
of  Paris,  translated  from  the  French  under  the  superintendence  of  M.  0 
Sullivan.  Each  page  is  illustrated  with  numerous  engravings,  representing 
the  principal  incidents  in  the  life  of  each  saint. 

The  first  page  contains  a  splendid  steel  engraving,  and  all  the  othei 
pages  are  embellished  with  wood-cut  illustrations.  Each  number,  printec 
upon  superfine  vellum  paper,  contains  the  life  of  a  saint,  in  eight  quart< 
pages,  in  a  neatly  stitched  ornamental  cover. 

Now  in  course  of  publication,  in  monthlv  parts,  price  2s.,  each,  a  new 
and  elegant  edition,  in  large  quarto,  of  the 

HOLY  CATHOLIC  BIBLE.  Translated  from  the  Latin  Vul 
gate.  Diligently  Compared  with  the  Hebrew,  Greek,  and  other 
editions,  in  divers  languages.  The  Old  Testament,  first  published  by 
the  English  College  at  Douay,  A.D.  1609;  and  the  New  Testament,  first 
published  by  the  English  College  at  Rheims,  A.D.  1582;  with  useful 
Notes,  selected  from  the  most  eminent  Commentators  and  the  most 
able  and  judicious  critics. 


Enriched  with  superb  Engravings.  Published  with  the  approbation  ol 
the  Right  Rev.  Dr.  Scott,  Bishop  of  Eretria  and  Vicar- Apostolic  in 
the  Western  District  of  Scotland,  and  the  Right  Rev.  Dr.  Murdoch, 
Bishop  of  Castabala,  Coadjutor. 

The  work  will  be  embellished  with  splendid  Engravings  on  Steel 
and  will  be  completed  in  about  Twenty-five  Parts,  at  2s.  each, 

"  We  hail  the  appearance  of  this  quarto  edition  of  the  Holy  Scriptures 
with  great  satisfaction.  Such  a  one  has  been  long  wanted  amongst  us 
The  notes  are  very  ample ;  equal,  in  bulk,  to  one-third  of  the  text  Thej 
are  selected  from  the  best  authorities— those  ot  Dr.  Challoner  being  re 
tainpd  entire.  The  type  is  large  and  clear ;  and  the  engraving  on  steel  o; 
the  Madonna  della  Seggiola,  gives  high  promise  of  the  illustrations  thai 
are  to  follow.  We  shall  watch  this  publication  with  interest ;  and  do  no) 
doubt  that  the  excellent  style  in  which  it  is  put  forth,  and  its  cheapness 
will  entitle  it  to  the  support  of  all  Catholics.  Who  would  be  without  o 
large  Catholic  Bible  when  such  an  one  can  be  obtained  on  such  terms?"— 
Dolman's  Magazine  for  November. 

N.B.  Other  Editions  of  the  Holy  Bible  will  be  found  in  C.  Dolmans 
General  Catalogue. 


':t  •  t 

More,  Sir.  T. 

A  dialogue  of  comfort 

against  tribulation.